Re: Greek Indirect Objects

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Sun Aug 23 1998 - 00:44:50 EDT

At 4:32 PM -0000 8/21/98, Carlton Winbery wrote in response to my question
about objects which bear the semantic role GOAL or RECIPIENT, but are not
assigned dative case:
>The only egs. I can think of here is the use of PROS + accusative. Compare
>no difference in function between them. I will have to run some searches to
>deal with the other questions, but I do not see anything to be gained in
>teaching new students by eliminating the category of dative used as
>indirect object.
Thank you, Carlton. As I wrote to Clayton a few minutes ago, I should have
thought to word my question more clearly. Of course there ARE a number of
examples like the one you point our here, where a Prepositional Phrase
serves this role. What I am looking for, though (and which I don't really
believe exists other than examples of the double accusative) is examples
with a simple noun or noun phrase in this role, but assigned some case
other than dative.

As to what might be gained by eliminating discussion of the indirect object
with beginning students and talking merely about goals and recipients, it
is significant that students entering college today know far less ENGLISH
grammar than used to be the case. I have often found that students didn't
know what an indirect object was. I've had to explain this first by saying
something like, "When a verb has two objects, one of them usually expresses
the GOAL or RECIPIENT of the action expressed by the verb. This one is the
indirect object and is assigned dative case." Now, if I am going to explain
it like this, why not just say, "When a verb has two objects, one usually
expresses the GOAL or RECIPIENT of the action expressed by the verb. This
one is assigned dative case"?

Wouldn't that be simpler?

I guess what I am looking for is an explanation for why I should keep the
term 'indirect object'. Does it really indicate anything separate from goal
or recipient? If so, what?

Micheal W. Palmer
North Carolina State University
Philosophy and Religion (New Testament)
Foreign Languages (Ancient Greek)

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