Verb classes and dative objects in Insular Scandinavian

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It is well-known cross-linguistically that some classes of transitive verbs are more likely than others to have dative objects. Thus, verbs whose object participant is active independent of the actions of the subject participant have a strong tendency to take dative objects. In this article, I show how this is reflected in the Insular Scandinavian languages, especially Faroese, where verbs whose objects are furthest away from the dative prototype have been the prime targets of dative loss with two-place verbs. By contrast, verbs that are semantically closest to the dative prototype seem to be the most resistant to dative loss.


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