English in Re: Sanskrit
emstern at NNI.COM
Sun Jul 5 19:47:10 UTC 1998
Birgit Kellner wrote:
>(a) A friend gave the man a book.
>(b) The man was given a book by a friend.
>How do I know that "the man" in (b) does NOT function as a dative? In
>the analogous German examples
>(c) Ein Freund gab dem Mann ein Buch.
>(d) Dem Mann wurde von einem Freund ein Buch gegeben.
>this is easy to figure out because of the definite article "dem", (using
>in the examples is not such a good idea, by the way, because this point
>gets obliterated). So the question is: How can it be known that (b) is
>not the exact syntactic equivalent of the German sentence (d), but
>actually exhibits loc raising?
We can probably see that "The man" in sentence (b) does not function as a
dative, and that (b) is not the exact syntactic equivalent of the German
sentence (b) by substituting an appropriate personal pronoun for "The man":
(b') He was given a book by a friend.
By contrast, if we substitute an appropriate personal pronoun for "the man"
in (a), we get:
(a') A friend gave him a book.
(a'') A friend gave a book to him.
When we now look back at (a) and (b), it is easier to see that the dative
or indirect object "the man" in (a) is raised to nominative or subject in
(Please pardon some terminological imprecision here; it is years since I
have studied generative grammar, etc.).
Elliot M. Stern
552 South 48th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143-2029
telephone: 215 747 6204
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