Syntactic, Semantic and FSP Aspects of Ditransitive Complementation: A Study of give, lend, send, offer and show

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The subject of the present study is an analysis of five ditransitive verbs: give, lend,
send, offer and show. The study focuses on the position of the two objects and on the factors
that have an impact on the object ordering. An attempt is here made to provide a systematic
overview of the position of the two objects with respect to their realization (i.e. substantival or
pronominal). As regards the realization of the two objects, four types are distinguished: i. both
Oi /Oprep and Od realized by nouns; ii. both Oi /Oprep and Od realized by pronouns; iii. Oi /Oprep
realized by a noun and Od by a pronoun; iv. Oi /Oprep realized by a pronoun and Od by a noun.
The position of the objects is assumed to be associated with the distribution of communicative
dynamism or in other words with the principle of end-focus, i.e. that given information tends
to precede new information. The second principle that operates in the ordering the two objects
is the principle of end-weight. Of the three (or four, including intonation) factors whose
interplay determines the FSP function of a clause element, in the case of ditransitive
complementation the most important role is played by the contextual factor. Therefore,
particular attention is paid to the context-dependence / independence of the two objects. The
present study attempts to demonstrate whether the position of the two objects is in accordance
with these principles and whether there are other potential factors that might play a role in
object ordering.


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