T.I. Console info at TICONSOLE.NL
Mon Jul 6 19:15:16 UTC 1998

Jacob Baltuch 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?
>It cannot function as a dative, because it occupies the specifier-of-sentence
>position, in other words, it occupies the subject position.

>Hmm, you can say "to the man a book was given by a friend" with the
>dative opening the sentence. A bit "poetical" maybe but certainly
>So your reason seems convincing only in conjuction with stating that
>in that position a dative needs to be overtly expressed by a preposition.

And that is because immediately before the SPEC to I position (generally subject position) there is a COMPlement, the landing place for preambles, and raised phrases, like subordinated clauses and indirect objects, like in your example ``to the man a book etc''. In your example, the book still is the subject. Elements are moved to COMPlement in order to provide stress, emphasis, as we all know without studying Generative Grammar.

COMP - SU - V - Obj - IObj.

>But I think it is entirely adequate to say like Elliot that it is
>immediately clear "the man" cannot be a dative just by replacing the
>man with a pronoun (it's *he* was given a book by a friend and not **him
>was given a book by a friend) which is much quicker and simpler and
>just as adequate than all the reasons above.

Certainly! Simple and adequate. It is a nice mnemonic aid. Remember, however, it is not an explanation, it's only an adequate help to your memory.

Sandra van der Geer
Leiden, NL
info at ticonsole
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: attachment.bin
Type: application/ms-tnef
Size: 2156 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list