• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
3.3.1.2. Dative alternation with naar-phrases (goals)
quickinfo

In the literature on English, the alternation that will be discussed in this section is normally discussed under the same heading as the one discussed in Section 3.3.1.1: the reason is that periphrastic indirect objects are headed by the preposition to in both cases in English. The examples in (350) show, however, that the two cases are clearly distinct in Dutch, given that the preposition involved is different in the two cases: whereas the alternation discussed in 3.3.1.1 involves the preposition aan, the alternation that will be the topic of this section involves the preposition naar'to'. Ignore the element toe for the moment, but we will return to it later in this section.

Example 350
a. Jan gooide Peter de bal *(toe).
  Jan threw  Peter  the ball    toe
  'Jan threw Peter the ball'
b. Jan gooide de bal naar Peter (toe).
  Jan threw  the ball  to Peter  toe
  'Jan threw the ball to Peter.'

The alternation of dative noun phrases and naar-PPs so far seems to have received little attention from linguists who work on the dative alternation, although we have seen in Section 3.3.1.1 that Rappaport Hovav & Levin (2008) were able to make the correct distinction on semantic grounds. The discussion is organized as follows: Subsection I begins by briefly repeating some basic facts about the interpretation of the two alternants that were more extensively discussed in Section 3.3.1.1, subsection II subsequently shows that the alternation of dative objects and naar-PPs provides quite convincing evidence in favor of the hypothesis discussed in Section 3.3.1.1, sub IV, that periphrastic indirect objects function syntactically as complementives, subsection III argues that the alternation of dative objects and naar-PPs also sheds new light on an old question in generative grammar by showing that the double object and periphrastic indirect object construction are likely to be syntactically derived from a common underlying structure, subsection IV concludes by providing a small sample of verbs exhibiting the alternation.

readmore
[+]  I.  Meaning differences

Verbs that allow the dative alternation with aan-PPs differ semantically from verbs that allow the dative alternation with naar-PPs in that the former denote an actual, intended or future change of location, whereas the latter are directional in nature. The difference can be made explicit by considering the implication relations. The change of location construction in the first conjunct of (351a) refers to the act of actual transfer of the referent of the direct object to the referent of the indirect object, and thus contradicts the second conjunct which expresses that the transfer did not take place. The directional construction in the first conjunct of (351b), on the other hand, expresses that the referent of the direct object traverses a certain path but does not imply that it actually reaches the intended goal as is clear from the fact that (351b) is perfectly coherent; see also Schermer-Vermeer (2001:29) who claims that the notion of contact, which constitutes the core meaning of the preposition aan, is lacking in naar. In what follows, we will use the term recipient to refer to the indirect object in the change of location construction and the term goal to refer to the indirect object in the directional construction.

Example 351
a. $ Jan gaf de bal aan Peter, maar Peter heeft hem niet gekregen.
  Jan gave  the ball  to Peter,  but  Peter has  him  not  gotten
  'Jan gave the ball to Peter, but Peter didnʼt get it.'
b. Jan gooide de bal naar Peter (toe), maar Peter heeft hem niet gekregen.
  Jan threw  the ball  to Peter  toe but  Peter has  him  not  gotten
  'Jan threw the ball towards Peter, but Peter didnʼt get it.'

The double object and the periphrastic indirect object constructions in (350) seem to differ in a way similar to those discussed in Section 3.3.1.1: whereas the periphrastic construction in (350b) seems especially concerned with the way the action of the subject affects the referent of the direct object, the double object construction in (350a) seems more concerned with the way it affects the referent of the indirect object. Section 3.3.1.1 has already shown, however, that this difference cannot be adequately expressed in terms of possession: neither the periphrastic nor the double object construction in (350) necessarily implies that Peter will come into possession of the ball. Nevertheless, it still seems plausible that some notion of affectedness is relevant as is implied by the semantic interpretations proposed in Table (335) for throw-type verbs, repeated here as (352).

Example 352
a. Double object construction: [Subject cause [IO to be affected by DO]]
b. Periphrastic indirect object construction: [S cause [DO to go to IO]]

The semantic representation in (352a) expresses that the referent of the indirect object in the double object construction is somehow (potentially) affected by the action of the subject. Since this may hold for the referent of the animate indirect object Jan, but clearly not for the inanimate indirect objects Amsterdam/de korf in the primeless examples in (353), the contrasts indicated there provide additional support for the semantic representations in (352).

Example 353
a. Peter stuurt Jan/*Amsterdam het boek toe.
  Peter sends  Jan/Amsterdam  the book  prt.
a'. Peter stuurt het boek naar Jan/Amsterdam (toe).
  Peter sends  the book  to Jan/Amsterdam   prt.
b. Marie gooide Jan/*de korf de bal toe.
  Marie threw  Jan/the basket  the ball  prt.
b'. Marie gooide de bal naar Jan/de korf (toe).
  Marie threw  the ball  to  Jan/the basket   prt.
[+]  II.  The syntactic function of the naar-PP

Directional PPs are invariably used as complementives; cf. Section P1.1.2.2, sub III. This means that examples such as (350b) provide strong evidence for the hypothesis discussed in Section 3.3.1.1, sub IV, that periphrastic indirect objects function syntactically as complementives. This hypothesis is also supported by the examples in (354), which show that the naar-PP in (350b) behaves like other PP-complementives in that it can only be in extraposed position if a verbal particle like over is present.

Example 354
a. Jan heeft de bal < naar Peter> gegooid <*?naar Peter>.
  Jan has  the ball     to Peter  thrown
  'Jan has thrown the ball to Peter.'
b. Jan heeft de bal <naar Peter> over gegooid <naar Peter>.
  Jan has  the ball    to Peter  over  thrown
  'that Jan threw the ball over to Peter.'

Note that the examples in (355) show that the use of particles like over blocks the dative alternation; we will return to this, but before we can do this we first have to discuss the function of the element toe.

Example 355
a. Jan heeft Peter de bal toe gegooid.
  Jan  has  Peter  the ball  toe  thrown
b. * Jan heeft Peter de bal toe over gegooid.
  Jan has  Peter  the ball  toe  over thrown
[+]  III.  The element toe

This subsection discusses the element toe that is found in the examples in (350), repeated here as (356). The starting point of our discussion will be the observation that this element is optional in the periphrastic indirect object construction but obligatory in the double object construction.

Example 356
a. Jan gooide Peter de bal *(toe).
  Jan threw  Peter  the ball    toe
  'Jan threw Peter the ball'
b. Jan gooide de bal naar Peter (toe).
  Jan threw  the ball  to Peter  toe
  'Jan threw the ball to Peter.'

There are apparent counterexamples against the claim that the element toe must be realized in the double object construction, but it seems that these can normally be traced back to the fact that the indirect object can alternate with either an aan- or a naar-PP. One example is the verb sturen'to send' in (357), which is apparently compatible both with a recipient and a goal.

Example 357
a. Jan stuurde zijn ouders een brief (toe).
recipient or goal
  Jan sent  his parents  a letter toe
b. Jan stuurde een brief aan zijn ouders.
recipient
  Jan sent  a letter  to his parents
b'. Jan stuurde een brief naar zijn ouders.
goal
  Jan sent  a letter  to his parents

The contrast in (356) is surprising and therefore in need of an explanation. The explanation that we argue for here supports the transformational approach to the dative/PP alternation by suggesting that the double object construction is derived from a structure that is more or lesss identical to the one assigned to the periphrastic indirect object construction; see Janssen (1976:12) for an early proposal of this type and Den Dikken (1995) for a detailed analysis that is fully compatible with our findings here; see Schermer-Vermeer (2001) for an alternative lexico-grammatical approach. The first step in our argument is to establish that the element toe is not always optional in the periphrastic construction. This is illustrated in the examples in (358), which show that the element toe must be realized when the nominal complement of the naar-PP is moved into clause-initial position; see Section P5.2 for more detailed discussion.

Example 358
a. Jan heeft de bal naar Peter (toe) gegooid.
  Jan has  the ball  to Peter  toe  thrown
  'Jan has thrown the ball to Peter.'
b. de jongen waari Jan de bal [PP naar ti *(toe)] gegooid heeft
  the boy  where  Jan the ball to    toe  thrown have
  'the boy to whom Jan has thrown the ball'

Now, assume that the double object construction is derived from a structure similar to that of the periphrastic indirect object construction by eliminating the preposition naar: [PPnaar Peter (toe)]. Den Dikken (1995) claims that this is the result of so-called incorporation of the preposition into the verb, but the precise technical means are not relevant here; the only thing that counts is that as a result the noun phrase Peter can no longer be assigned case within the PP and must therefore be promoted to indirect object (in the same way as the direct object of a verb must be promoted to subject in the passive construction; cf. Section 3.2.1). In order to make this possible the noun phrase must be moved out of the PP and moved into the canonical position of the indirect object preceding the direct object: IOi DO [PPnaarti (toe)]. If so, we may account for the obligatory presence of toe in the double object construction by appealing to the fact that extraction of the nominal complement in (358b) likewise triggers the obligatory presence of toe.
      This hypothesis is also interesting in the light of the problem noted in subsection II that the double object construction is excluded if the verb is preceded by a verbal particle; the relevant example is repeated as (359a). If the hypothesis proposed here is on the right track, we expect periphrastic indirect objects of particle verbs to be likewise impossible if toe is present, and example (359b) shows that such cases are indeed degraded.

Example 359
a. Jan heeft Peter de bal toe (*over) gegooid.
  Jan has  Peter  the ball  toe     over  thrown
b. Jan heeft de bal naar Peter toe (*over) gegooid.
  Jan has  the ball  to Peter  toe      over   thrown

The unacceptability of the verbal particle over may be accounted for if we assume that toe likewise functions as a verbal particle; verbs never combine with two particles at the same time. which in turn may follow from the more general restriction that clauses can contain at most one complementive; see Section 2.2.1, sub IV, for discussion.

[+]  IV.  A sample of double object verbs (not) allowing the alternation

Given that the periphrastic PP is a directional complementive it does not come as a surprise that the set of double object verbs in which the indirect object functions as a goal is a subset of the verbs that may take a directional PP:

Example 360
Directional verbs: iets gooien (naar)'to throw something (to)', iets sturen (naar)'to send something (to)', iets rollen (naar)'to roll something (to)', iets schoppen (naar)'to kick something (to)', iets spelen (naar)'to play something (to)', iets werpen (naar)'to throw something (at)', etc.

There are also a number of verbs that allow the double object but not the periphrastic indirect object construction. Like with verbs taking a recipient, this holds especially for verbs expressing transfer of propositional content like toebijten/toeblaffen'to snarl at', toefluisteren'to whisper to', toejuichen'to cheer at'; if the particle toe is not present, these verbs sometimes take a PP-complement headed by naar. An example that normally does not involve the transfer of some concrete physical entity is toestoppen'to slip'

Example 361
a. Zij beet/blafte (*?naar) hem toe [dat hij moest ophouden].
  she bit/barked      at  him toe   that  he  had.to  prt.-stop
  'She scolded at him that he had to stop.'
b. Zij juichte/fluisterde (*?naar) hem toe [dat ze geslaagd was].
  she cheered/whispered      at  him toe   that  she  passed.the.exam  was
  'She cheered at him that sheʼd passed the exam.'
c. Ze stopte <Peter> wat extraʼs <naar Peter> toe.
  she  put    Peter  something extra    to Peter  toe
  'She slipped Peter something extra.'

For completeness' sake, note that there are also double object constructions with toe that do not allow the periphrastic indirect object with naar, but take periphrastic indirect objects with aan. This simply shows that a large number of (non-directional) particle verbs with the verbal particle toe take a recipient. Some examples are: iemand iets toestaan'to allow someone (to do) something', iemand iets toevertrouwen'to entrust something to someone', iets toewijzen aan iemand'to assign something to someone', iemand iets toezeggen'to promise something to someone', etc. As expected, such double object constructions do alternate with periphrastic indirect object constructions with aan.

Example 362
Jan vertrouwde <Peter> het geheim <aan Peter> toe.
  Jan entrusted    Peter  the secret   to Peter prt.
'Jan entrusted the secret to Peter.'

Since the dative alternation with naar-PPs has hardly been studied so far, future research will have to make clear which double object constructions with toe do or do not belong to the class of constructions discussed in this section.

[+]  V.  Conclusion

The previous subsections have discussed a second type of dative/PP alternation in which the periphrastic indirect object surfaces as a naar-PP and which seems to have gone largely unnoticed so far in the otherwise vast literature on dative shift. We have seen that this alternation may shed new light on the analysis of the dative/PP alternation in the sense that it supports the following two hypotheses put forward in Den Dikken (1995): (i) the periphrastic indirect object syntactically functions as a complementive, and (ii) the double object and the periphrastic indirect object construction are derived from similar underlying structures. It therefore seems worthwhile to study this alternation more extensively in the future.

References:
  • Dikken, Marcel den1995Particles: on the syntax of verb-particle, triadic, and causative constructionsOxford studies in comparative syntaxNew York/OxfordOxford University Press
  • Dikken, Marcel den1995Particles: on the syntax of verb-particle, triadic, and causative constructionsOxford studies in comparative syntaxNew York/OxfordOxford University Press
  • Dikken, Marcel den1995Particles: on the syntax of verb-particle, triadic, and causative constructionsOxford studies in comparative syntaxNew York/OxfordOxford University Press
  • Hovav, Malka Rappaport & Levin, Beth2008The English dative alternation: the case for verb sensitivityJournal of Linguistics44129-167
  • Janssen, Theo1976<i>Hebben</i>-konstrukties en indirekt-objektkonstructiesNijmegenUniversity of NijmegenThesis
  • Schermer-Vermeer, Ina2001Grammatica, lexicon en de dubbelobject-constructie in het Nederlands en het EngelsNederlandse Taalkunde622-37
  • Schermer-Vermeer, Ina2001Grammatica, lexicon en de dubbelobject-constructie in het Nederlands en het EngelsNederlandse Taalkunde622-37
Suggestions for further reading ▼
phonology
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
morphology
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
syntax
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
  • 3.3.1.1. Dative alternation with aan-phrases (recipients)
    [97%] Dutch > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 3 Projection of verb phrases II:Verb frame alternations > 3.3. Alternations of noun phrases and PPs > 3.3.1. Dative/PP alternations (dative shift)
  • 3.3.2. Accusative/PP alternations
    [93%] Dutch > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 3 Projection of verb phrases II:Verb frame alternations > 3.3. Alternations of noun phrases and PPs
  • 13.2. A-Scrambling: nominal argument shift
    [93%] Dutch > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 13 Word order in the clause V: Middle field (scrambling)
  • 2.2.3. Resultative constructions
    [93%] Dutch > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 2 Projection of verb phrases I:Argument structure > 2.2. Complementives (secondary predicates)
  • 3.2.1.3. The regular passive
    [93%] Dutch > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 3 Projection of verb phrases II:Verb frame alternations > 3.2. Alternations involving the external argument > 3.2.1. Passivization
Show more ▼
cite
print
This topic is the result of an automatic conversion from Word and may therefore contain errors.
A free Open Access publication of the corresponding volumes of the Syntax of Dutch is available at OAPEN.org.