I love me this topic: The Southern English double object construction
Navalón Salvador, Ane
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On many varieties of English spoken in the United States it is possible to say something like (1) below: (1) I sent mei a letter to the President. (1) exemplifies the so-called Southern Double Object Construction (Southern DOC), a structure that has received relatively little attention in the literature. This construction has been attested in the Southern United States vernacular varieties of English including Appalachian English. In this paper I provide an overview of the main characteristics of the Southern DOC. More specifically, this paper focuses on the socio-geographical characteristics and the grammatical features of the Southern DOC as well as on the similarities and differences it has with respect to other constructions found crosslinguistically. First, the analysis shows that the Southern DOC is an optional construction which has some syntactic constraints operating on it and which conveys completive meaning which highlights the involvement of the agent. Secondly, the paper reveals that there are some syntactic and semantic differences between the Southern DOC and some English constructions, such as for-datives, self-reflexives and to-datives. Moreover, a brief comparison is provided between the construction under study and ethical datives of Spanish. Thirdly, I present grammatical representations of both the construction under study and the All American DOC. A comparison of both constructions has allowed me to draw two main conclusions: (i) the All American one is more restrained than the Southern DOC as regards the verb types that it allows, and (ii) the Southern DOC highlights the agent‟s role whereas the All American DOC does not convey emphasis. The paper concludes by arguing that the Southern DOC creates some problems as far as the Binding Theory is concerned. Then, two solutions are proposed. The first suggestion is that the personal dative in the Southern DOC is not a pronoun but an anaphor, thus it does not cause any problem as regards the Binding theory. The second is that the Southern DOC may be working as an idiomatic expression and, therefore, does not cause any problem to the Binding Theory.