Article published in:The Locus of Linguistic Variation
Edited by Constantine Lignos, Laurel MacKenzie and Meredith Tamminga
[Benjamins Current Topics 97] 2018
► pp. 1–32
Locating variation in the dative alternation
This paper investigates the structure of the dative alternation in dialects of Northwest British English. This includes theme passivization of apparent Double Object Constructions (It was given her). Detailed investigation shows that different dialects use distinct licensing strategies to derive the Theme passive structure. The main variety discussed is Liverpool English, where Theme passivisation is shown to derive from a prepositional dative with a null preposition. In contrast, Manchester English, a neighbouring variety, derives Theme passives of the Double Object Construction, via an Applicative configuration (Haddican 2010, Haddican and Holmberg 2012). The study shows that a range of syntactic properties and restrictions on a structure can be traced back to variation in the functional lexicon.
Keywords: dialectal variation, ditransitives, null preposition, parameters, syntactic variation
Published online: 06 September 2018