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Linguistic Inquiry

Summer 2015, Vol. 46, No. 3, Pages 389-424
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00187)
© 2015 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Syntactic Neutralization in Double Object Constructions
Abstract

This article synthesizes the ‘‘alternative projection’’ view of the alternation between the DP + DP and DP + PP complement frames of English double object verbs, according to which the alternants are basegenerated as such, with a transformational account that claims that the DP + PP frame may be derived from the DP + DP frame. For some verbs allowing multiple complements, the DP + PP frame is syntactically ambiguous between a base-generated locative construction and a derivative of the possessive syntax associated with the DP + DP frame. Evidence from the distribution of purpose clauses motivates this conclusion, as do asymmetries in restrictions on animacy and idiom formation in the two frames.