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The information structure of ditransitives

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Abstract

This chapter argues that information structure plays a critical role in explaining the ditransitive construction’s distribution, scope properties, and interaction with long-distance dependency constructions. Specifically, since the recipient argument is a secondary topic and backgrounded in discourse, it tends to have wide scope over the theme argument and also tends to resist extraction when combined with long-distance dependency constructions. An alternative, the to-dative, is favored in these circumstances, since it has a more appropriate information structure.

References

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