A case of English vs. classical logic

selfAdjoint

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Both are perfectly acceptible. I think the second one would sound better with a direct object: Romeo wrote Juliet a letter, or Romeo wrote Juliet that he loved her.
 

loseyourname

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honestrosewater said:
matt, if you're still there, (or anyone else) just out of curiosity, what do you think of

Romeo wrote to Juliet.

?? Is it acceptable? Is it the same, better, or worse than

Romeo wrote Juliet.

??
If the two are meant to be equivalent statements, then the first is a better way of stating it, since in this case, "Juliet" is dative and not accusative. Putting the "to" in front of her name makes that explicit and removes the ambiguity.
 

honestrosewater

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selfAdjoint said:
Both are perfectly acceptible. I think the second one would sound better with a direct object: Romeo wrote Juliet a letter,
Yeah, two constructions (in English) for a ditransitive verb (a Verb having a Subject, Direct Object, and Indirect Object) are the

Prepositional Dative Construction (PDC): [V] [DO] to [IO]

(so called, I figure, because the dative case marker is associated with the IO position (esp. cross-linguistically), which occurs as the object of the preposition to (so you might consider to to be a dative case marker in a sense, or maybe not, I should stop thinking out loud so much hah) (and I think the IO position being filled usually implies S and DO are already filled).) and the

Double Object Construction (DOC): [V] [IO] [DO]

So you could look at

13) Romeo wrote Juliet.

as

a) a PDC with the DO and to dropped,
b) a DOC (what you seem to want to turn it into) with the DO dropped, or
c) wrote as an intransitive verb (only has a S) with two arguments: i) an agent participant, Romeo's referent, which occurs in the DP Romeo in the S position, and ii) a goal participant, Juliet's referent, which occurs as the object in the Prepositional Phrase (PP) to Juliet with to dropped (having a zero form).

I think (c) works. Um, and in case anyone is interested, it's kinda complicated, but consider some examples with a verb that "can't" be used intransitively, like buy, sell, send, and remember that you want Juliet to be the goal, not the patieht.

14a) *Romeo bought Juliet.
14b) *Romeo bought for Juliet.
14c) *Romeo sent Juliet.
14d) *Romeo sent to Juliet.

So why does wrote work? Because it can be -- and is being -- used intransitively, as in

15) Romeo wrote.

Compare to

16) Romeo sang.

and add the PP to both

17) Romeo wrote to Juliet.
18) Romeo sang to Juliet.

But for some reason

13) Romeo wrote Juliet.
19) *Romeo sang Juliet.

I haven't figured out yet under what conditions to can have a zero form -- it might just be an idiosyncracy of wrote. If anyone wants to examine some examples, have at it. :smile: You're looking for a verb that is (in the particular case)
a) intransitive with
b) two arguments,
i) an agent, occurring in a DP immediately before Verb
ii) a goal, occuring in a DP in a PP immediately following Verb
So the sentence is of the form [DP Verb PP] and you want to compare when [DP Verb Prep DP] and [DP Verb DP] are grammatical. I really want to know if there's a rule. :biggrin: :yuck: (A linguistics LaTex package would rock too.)
or Romeo wrote Juliet that he loved her.
I'm not sure that there is a DO or IO position in Romeo wrote Juliet that he loved her. I think that is functioning as a Complementizer here, embedding he loved her, and I'm not sure that a Complementizer Phrase (CP) can occupy an object position (I think perhaps only DPs can occupy object positions). And if Juliet is here actually the PP to Juliet with the to dropped, then wrote is here intransitive. The referent of Juliet is the goal participant, but Juliet is not the IO. I'm still very much learning though, so who knows. I don't see why it wouldn't make sense to assign a CP a single θ-role, which I guess would be the patient role here, but I don't know. Bleh.
 

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