A comparative investigation into the syntax of double object constructions in English and Ewe : a minimalist approach
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An alternative realization of the sub-categorization of ditransitive verbs is the Double Object Construction (DOC). English and Ewe are part of the few languages that permit the DOC pattern. Per the asymmetric relationship between the internal arguments in the DOC; variants of the shell structure, originally proposed by Larson (1988), has been assumed nowadays in the analyses of the structure of the English DOC. The standard view on the English DOC has been that it can only have the V-GO-TH order pattern, where as Ewe DOCs have both V-GO-TH and V-TH-GO patterns. Using assumptions of the Minimalist Program (MP) within the Principles and Parameters (P&P) Theory, this thesis investigated the syntax of the two patterns of Ewe DOCs comparing them to the English DOC. The study, following Bruening (2010), discovered that DOCs in English, under certain conditions, can have both V-GO-TH and V-TH-GO orders similar to what occurs with the basic DOC verbs in Ewe. The study also showed that, contrary to Essegbey’s (2010) claim, the basic DOC pattern in Ewe is the V-GO-TH pattern just like the basic DOC pattern in English. Consequently, this thesis indicated a unified structural account for the V-GO-TH orders in English and Ewe DOCs. Concerning the V-TH-GO orders, it became apparent that English derives its V-TH-GO order by rightward shifting of heavy GOAL with GOAL still c-commanding THEME, while Ewe derives its V-TH-GO order by leftward movement of THEME across GOAL without heaviness requirement and with THEME c-commanding GOAL.