Dative transformation

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The term dative transformation was occasionally used to refer to the transformation that has been more commonly known as dative shift or dative movement. The transformation relates a prepositional indirect-object construction (The girl gave milk to the cat) to a double-object construction (The girl gave the cat milk), especially in English.


Dryer (1986) proposed a transformation with the reverse effect that he called antidative.

Since the transformational analysis is no longer popular, the neutral term dative alternation is now mostly used for the English alternation in question.



  • Dryer, Matthew S. 1986. Primary objects, secondary objects and antidative. Language 62.4: 808-845.