Primary object languages & pronouns

dparvaz at UNM.EDU dparvaz at UNM.EDU
Wed Apr 23 15:21:14 UTC 2003

> In di-transitive clauses, however, it is the RECIPIENT/GOAL which triggers/governs
> agreement on the verb.
> [much snippage]
> Again, does anyone know of other languages with this pattern?

In the sign languages that I work in -- American Sign Language (ASL) and the Sign
Language of Jordan -- those verbs which do have Subject/Object agreement, AND are
showing a kind of ditransitive relation (like the prototype 'give') typically agree with
AGENT and RECIPIENT/GOAL. These verbs typically move in space between their

So, in ASL a verb like HIT, a citation form of which looks something like...

... (QuickTime required) starts with the "hitter" and moves to the "hittee" --
definitely moving between AGENT and PATIENT. However, in the case of GIVE...

... the agreement is as you stated in your question.

Hope this helps.



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