Ditransitive Constructions: The Verb ‘Give’

by Martin Haspelmath http://wals.info/feature/105

10 Responses to “Ditransitive Constructions: The Verb ‘Give’”

  1. Teresa Torres Says:

    Panyjima appears as an example of “double-object construction”, since both objects are marked with accusative case. But in the description of the language, and in the map, it appears as a “secondary-object construction”. So, are there another characteristics in the language that make it more a “secondary-object” type than a “double-object” one, despite of case marking?

    Thank you very much

    Teresa Torres
    ling.rutgers.edu

  2. Martin Haspelmath Says:

    Yes, that’s correct. This is an error that will be corrected in the 2009 edition of WALS Online.

  3. yoandri Says:

    What they show in there about spanish is leismo and it is not the prescribed grammar or the way of speaking of most people. In reality it is mainly used in Spain dialects, not in most dialects where one would la/lo vi a ella/el or a ella/el la/lo vi. And animates/humans are rarely what is given anyway.

  4. Bertrand Bellet Says:

    A sentence in §6 reads: “In Africa, there appears to be some alignment with language families: Austroasiatic and Mande languages tend to show the indirect-object construction…”. “Austroasiatic” must be an inadvertent mistake for “Afroasiatic”.

  5. Martin Haspelmath Says:

    Yes, thanks for pointing out this error.

  6. Mathias Graßmann Says:

    Sehr geehrter Herr Dr. Haspelmath,

    In Ihrem online verfügbaren Aufsatz “Argument Marking in Ditransitive Alignement Types.” (url: http://journals.dartmouth.edu/cgi-bin/WebObjects/
    Journals.woa/1/xmlpage/1/article/280) stehen im Appendix “Ditransitive and monotransitive alignment types and conding types in 100 languages” zu vier Sprachen folgende Strukturformeln, die mir unlogisch erscheinen:

    Kanuri: ind neut mmm m0m acc acc 00m mmm Cyffer 1991
    Taba: neut neut 000 000 neut erg 000 mm0 Bowden 2001
    Sahap.: sec neut m0m 000 trip acc 0mm mmm Rude 1997
    Urubu-: ind neut 00m 000 acc acc 00m mm0 Kakumasu 1986

    Entweder hat Kanuri innerhalb des zweiten Aktantentripels neutrales Indexing: dann müssen P, T und R (sofern die monotransitive Listung stimmt) alle markiert sein (mmm) – oder Kanuri ist hier m0m-markiert: dann sind aber nur sekundatives oder tripartites Indexing möglich.
    Taba hat entweder ergativisches Indexing: dann muss es aber (sofern die ditransitive Listung stimmt) 0m0-markiert sein – oder es ist mm0-markiert und hat somit akkusativisches Indexing.
    Für Sahaptin stimmt entweder die Formel für die ditransitive oder diejenige für die monotransitive Kongruenzmarkierung nicht. In der Logik Ihrer Notation stehen das erste Codingzeichen bezüglich des zweiten Aktantentripels und das letzte Codingzeichen bezüglich des ersten Tripels beide für P; folglich müssen sie (weil sie ein und dasselbe bezeichnen) übereinstimmen.
    Bei Urubu-Kaapor liegt die ebenbeschriebene Unstimmigkeit diesmal für das Flagging vor: P kann nicht zugleich markiert und unmarkiert sein.

    Könnten Sie mir bitte weiterhelfen. Ich bespreche Ihren Aufsatz im Rahmen einer Hausarbeit, die ich bei Herrn Dr. Malchukov schreibe.

    Mit freundlichem Gruße
    Stud. Mathias Graßmann

  7. Delvecchio Simone Says:

    The translation of the example 2b is monotransitive, not ditransitive.

    In “I gave the dog meat.”=”I gave the meat of the dog.”

    2a) active imperfective (mono)transitive
    I gave [the dog meat].
    A V [ P ]
    I give dog meat
    Io do la carne del cane.

    Here “meat” is the patient-like argument of the monotransitive clause, while “dog” is the “owner” of the meat (if the meat represents the musculature of the dog, then it is an inalienable possession, otherwise it would be an alienable possession).

    2a) active imperfective ditransitive
    I gave meat [to the dog].
    I give meat dog
    A V T [ R ]

    The ditransitive translation is “I gave meat to the dog” if “dog” is the addressee argument “meat” is the theme argument, or “I gave the dog to the meat.” if “meat” is the recipient argument and “dog” is the theme argument.

    The English language has only an “indirect-object construction” for ditransitive clauses.

  8. Delvecchio Simone Says:

    2a) active imperfective (mono)transitive
    I gave [the dog meat].
    A V [ P ]
    I(NOM) give(PST.IND) dog(GEN) meat(ACC)
    I gave [the meat of the dog].
    A V [ P ]
    I(NOM) give(PST.IND) meat(ACC) dog(GEN)
    Io diedi la carne del cane.

    2a) active imperfective ditransitive
    I gave meat [to the dog].
    A V T [ R ]
    I(NOM) give(PST.IND) meat(ACC) dog(DAT)
    Io diedi la carna al cane.

  9. Delvecchio Simone Says:

    This reply is to correct a typo and improve the distinction of the 3 variations of example 2a.
    2a) active imperfective (mono)transitive, possessor before patient
    I gave [the dog meat].
    A V [ P ]
    I(NOM) give(PST.IND) dog(GEN) meat(ACC)
    Io diedi la carne del cane.
    2a) active imperfective (mono)transitive, patient before possessor
    I gave [the meat of the dog].
    A V [ P ]
    I(NOM) give(PST.IND) meat(ACC) dog(GEN)
    Io diedi la carne del cane.

    2a) active imperfective ditransitive, theme before recipient
    I gave meat [to the dog].
    A V T [ R ]
    I(NOM) give(PST.IND) meat(ACC) dog(DAT)
    Io diedi la carne al cane.

  10. Delvecchio Simone Says:

    I found on the English wikipedia a correct example of use of English double-object construction (”I gave the dog meat.”, as demonstrated is not a correct example because “the dog meat” forms a single noun phrase.
    Uncountable nouns without articles cannot be used in double-object construction in second object position.
    So we have to use a noun (or noun phrase) with an appropriate article, as in “I gave the dog a meat piece.” or “I gave the dog a lot of meat.” or similar.
    Using the example given from the English wiktionary
    Indirect-object construction, indefinite article: “John gave a book to Mary. (Italian: “Giovanni diede un libro a Maria.”)
    Indirect-object construction, definite article: “John gave the book to Mary. (Italian: “Giovanni diede il libro a Maria.”)
    Double-object construction, indefinite article: “John gave Mary a book.” (Italian: “Giovanni diede a Maria un libro.”)
    Double-object construction, definite article: “John gave Mary the book.” (Italian: “Giovanni diede a Maria il libro.”)

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