2006. Proceedings of WCCFL 25: 390-398, University of Washington, Seattle.
An important debate concerning alternations in ditransitive structures is whether the two alternants are derived transformationally from a single argument structure (Larson 1988, Baker 1988) or are as- sociated with two distinct argument structures (Marantz 1993, Harley 2002, Miyagawa and Tsujioka 2004, Anagnostopoulou 2003, 2005). In this paper, I investigate the argument structure of Tamil GOAL and BENEFICIARY ditransitives and offer further support for a non-derivational treatment. Specifically, I show that there is a systematic semantic alternation in goal and benefactive ditransitives in Tamil which corresponds to alternations between double-object and for/to-PP structures in English (Oehrle 1976, Harley 2002) and other languages2. In the double-object alternant, I propose that the oblique argument is introduced by an applicative head whereas, in the for/to-PP, it is contained within a P phrase which is a direct complement of the verb (Marantz 1993, Pylkkänen 2002). Finally, I show that the oblique argument introducing applicative in Tamil occurs low and not high (in the sense of Pylkkänen 2002).