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Competing motivations and ditransitive encoding and ordering

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The paper proposes that the three main ditransitive alignment patterns result from the competition between the Event Construal Constraint (ECC) motivated from event semantics and the Animacy(/Definiteness) Hierarchy Constraint (AHC) motivated from inherent role properties. The ECC and the AHC lead, respectively, to the Theme (T) and the Recipient (R) of a ditransitive verb being coded in the same way as the Patient (P) of a monotransitive verb. The competition model also correctly predicts the difference in the frequency of the indirective and secundative alignments. The indirective preference in flagging results from flagging’s being more sensitive to event role properties (cf. ECC) and the secundative preference in indexing results from indexing’s being more sensitive to animacy and definiteness (cf. AHC). Moreover, the paper argues that both the ordering of R and T nominal arguments in flagging and the ordering of R and T bound forms in indexing can be successfully accounted for through the interaction of the following constraints: the Animacy (/Definiteness) Effect on Ordering, the Weight Effect on Ordering, and the Coding Effect on Ordering (i.e. which ditransitive role is coded in the same way as the P).
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Keywords: ditransitive; flagging; indexing; ordering; recipient; theme

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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