Dative movement

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The term dative movement has been used to refer to the transformation that relates a prepositional indirect-object construction (The girl gave milk to the cat) to a double-object construction (The girl gave the cat milk), especially in English (e.g. Erteschik-Shir 1979).


Since the transformational analysis is no longer popular, the neutral term dative alternation is now mostly used for the English alternation in question.



  • Erteshik-Shir, Naomi. 1979. Discourse constraints on dative movement. In: Givón, T. (ed) Discourse and syntax (Syntax and Semantics, 12.) New York/San Francisco/London: Academic Press, 441-467.