Hollmann, Willem B. (2007) From language-specific constraints to implicational universals: a cognitive-typological view of the dative alternation. Functions of Language, 14 (1). pp. 57-78. ISSN 0929-998XFull text not available from this repository.
This article seeks to shed more light on the well-studied, yet still challenging, dative alternation. It starts from the cognitive-typological suggestion of Croft (2001, 2003) that language-internal variation is subject to the same constraints as cross-linguistic variation (the semantic map model), and that careful language-specific research may therefore reveal facts about language in general. I argue that there is a parallel between dativisability and passivisability. Then, using a sample of active tokens from the British National Corpus of ditransitive give in both the indirect-object and double-object constructions and comparing these to a matched sample of passive examples, I evaluate the effect on passivisability — and hence dativisability — of the semantic parameters proposed in previous scholarship. The results are stated as a set of implicational universals. They should hold for all languages that feature the alternation, and make diachronic predictions as well. In addition to the semantics — which has been discussed in many previous studies — I argue that token frequency also plays a role in promoting dativisability — which has never been suggested before. The conclusion identifies some general implications for theoretical linguistics and for the practice of research on language structure and meaning.
|Journal or Publication Title:||Functions of Language|
|Subjects:||P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics|
|Departments:||Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Linguistics & English Language|
|Deposited By:||Dr Willem Hollmann|
|Deposited On:||25 Feb 2008 17:44|
|Last Modified:||26 Jul 2012 15:18|
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