Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton December 21, 2007

An applicative analysis of double object constructions in Romanian

Constanţa Rodica Diaconescu and María Luisa Rivero
From the journal


Romanian participates in the so-called dative alternation, offering four syntactic types of ditransitive sentences. On the one hand, it exhibits two types of double object constructions (DOCs) corresponding to English Jane sends Bill a letter. In one of them, the goal corresponding to Bill is a morphological dative, and in the other it follows the preposition la. On the other hand, Romanian also exhibits two types of prepositional ditransitive constructions (PDCs) corresponding to English Jane sends a letter to Bill, with a goal that can be a morphological dative or follow the preposition la. Such Romanian ditransitive sentences correspond to DOCs when they contain a dative clitic, and to PDCs when they contain a goal and show no dative clitic. It is proposed that Romanian DOCs and PDCs have different syntactic structures. DOCs contain a low Applicative Phrase with the dative clitic as head, the goal as specifier, and the theme as complement. Thus, in DOCs the goal c-commands the theme. By contrast, in PDCs the theme is the specifier of a PP that c-commands the goal as the complement of P. Due to these different hierarchical structures, DOCs and PDCs contrast in behavior concerning binding, frozen scope, and weak crossover relations between goal and theme.

Published Online: 2007-12-21
Published in Print: 2007-12-11

© Walter de Gruyter