Ditransitive clauses in English with special reference to Lancashire dialect

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Unlike many other languages, English has three ditransitive constructions; a prepositional one in which the recipient or beneficiary is marked by a preposition and two double object constructions, one in which the recipient precedes the theme and the other in which the theme precedes the recipient. The availability and use of these three constructions in different dialects of English has long been an issue of controversy. This paper offers actual corpus data relating to the distribution of the three ditransitive constructions in one English dialect, namely Lancashire dialect. It shows that in cases where both the recipient and theme are pronominal, the double object construction with theme > recipient order is not only possible but in fact dominant.


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