Ditransitive (‘Give’) Constructions (Feature 60)
Ditransitive constructions with the verb ‘give’ have an agent, a recipient and a theme argument. Here we ask how the adpositional or case coding of the recipient and theme compare with the coding of the patient of the ordinary transitive (monotransitive) construction.
If the recipient receives special marking (generally by a preposition, or by a serial verb), and the theme is coded like the monotransitive patient, we are dealing with an indirect-object construction (something like “I gave book to John”, cf. monotransitive “I bought book”)
If the theme receives special marking, and the recipient is coded like the monotransitive patient, we are dealing with a secondary-object construction (something like “I gave John with book”, cf. monotransitive “I saw John”)
If neither the recipient nor the theme receive special marking, and both are coded like the monotransitive patient, we have the double-object construction (something like “I gave John book”).
Only full NP recipients and themes are taken into account here (of course, pronominal objects often behave differently), and if different ditransitive verbs behave differently, only the verb ‘give’ is relevant.
In the most typical case, the recipient is animate and the theme is inanimate. If animate themes are coded differently from inanimate themes (as in ‘Her father gave her to his neighbour’), this should be disregarded. Likewise, the coding of the ditransitive objects should be compared with the coding of the inanimate patient in languages with animacy-based differential object marking. (Special treatment of animate direct objects is dealt with in Feature 57, “Marking of Patient Noun Phrases”).
If the language has several ditransitive constructions (e.g. English I gave John a book/I gave a book to John), you may select several values.
|1||Indirect-object construction|| English |
The woman gave the food to the boy,
Úo wedí le ána gurúʃ
[he gave to me money]
‘He gave me money.’
|2||Double-object construction|| English |
The woman gave the boy the food,
À giv dì man nyam.
‘I gave the man yams.’
|3||Secondary-object construction|| This construction is rare, but is found, for example, in Yoruba: |
Ó fún mi ní owo.
[he give me with money]
‘He gave me money.’