Heidi Harley
Linguistic Variation Yearbook 2, pp. 31-70
Publication year: 2002

This paper argues that double-object verbs decompose into two heads, an external-argument-selecting cause predicate (vCAUSE) and a prepositional element, PHAVE. Two primary types of argument are presented. First, a consideration of the well-known Oerhle’s generalization effects in English motivate such a decomposition, in combination with a consideration of idioms in ditransitive structures. These facts mitigate strongly against a Transform approach to the dative alternation, like that of Larson 1988, and point towards an Alternative Projection approach, similar in many respects to that of Pesetsky 1995. Second, the PHAVE prepositional element is identified with the prepositional component of verbal have, treated in the literature by Benveniste 1966; Freeze 1992; Kayne 1993; Guéron 1995. Languages without PHAVE do not allow possessors to c-command possessees, and show no evidence of a double-object construction, in which Goals c-command Themes. On the current account, these two facts receive the same explanation: PHAVE does not form part of the inventory of morphosyntactic primitives of these languages.