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Share Paper 2440

Why German Is Not an Exception to the Universal <IO, DO> Base Order of Double Object Constructions
Effi Georgala
96-105 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


In the recent literature on double object constructions, it has been argued that in German the accusative direct object is merged higher than the dative indirect object (Müller 1995, McGinnis 1999, Tungseth 2008, among others). These claims would make German an outstanding counterexample to the crosslinguistic generalization that indirect objects are underlyingly higher than direct objects (Marantz 1993, Pesetsky 1995, Bowers forthcoming, among others). This paper provides novel data from depictive and quantifier stranding, in support of the view that IO>DO in fact is the underlying order in German double object constructions (cf. Lenerz 1977, Webelhuth 1989, McFadden 2004, McIntyre 2009, among others). Following Georgala's et al. (2008) analysis of applicative constructions which predicts IO>DO as the base order in DOCs, this paper proposes that German has both low-type (raising) and high-type (thematic) applicatives, but a single position for applicative heads above the lexical VP. The depictive and quantifier stranding facts strongly support the view that in the raising applicative construction, Appl has a strong EPP feature that attracts the recipient indirect object from its underlying position in [Spec, VP].

Published in

Proceedings of the 28th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Mary Byram Washburn, Katherine McKinney-Bock, Erika Varis, Ann Sawyer, and Barbara Tomaszewicz
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00