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The double object constructions in Archaic Chinese*

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This article demonstrates that double object constructions in Archaic Chinese display both patterns of direct and indirect object marking (DO+IO) and primary and secondary object marking (PO+SO). We propose two constraints to account for the grammatical distribution of GIVE verbs in the double object construction with PO+SO marking in Archaic Chinese. The first constraint is syntactic and explains why verbs like xiàn ? 'offer' cannot occur in the double object construction with PO+SO marking, unless the semantic role of recipient is available for mapping onto direct object in a monotransitive clause. A second constraint on animacy is proposed to explain the low frequency of two animate, particularly two human NPs, in the postverbal position for verbs like qī ? 'marry'.

Affiliations: 1: Division of Chinese Nanyang Technological University 12, Nanyang Drive 637721 SINGAPORE


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