> From: Marcus Smith
> H. S. Teoh wrote:
> >But yeah, I know what you're talking about. I struggled for a long time
> >with the awkwardness of the accusative + dative construct too, because
> >when you give something to someone, that someone is a primary focus of
> >your sentence; it shouldn't be relegated to a secondary dative case.
> Don't think of the dative as a "secondary" case.  Think of the accusative
> as the lowest-of-the-low.  That is, it is the case that goes to
> the *least*
> important object.  In a monotransitive that is the only object by
> default.  In a ditransitive, it is the direct object.  The dative goes to
> the "more important" indirect object.

Don't know about 'secondary' or even 'lowest-of-the'low', but amman iar
tends to agree with H.S Teoh's intuition here.  Canonical ditransitives
always mark the 'recipient' using a 'core case' marking (absolutive or
accusative depending on animacy considerations) and the 'gift' using an
oblique case (dative), thus

\f The queen gave the warrior a sword.
\t ir  arnarielle              eleth             en         ir
\m i   arro =nar     =iel -e   el-        -eth   en         i
\g the rule =one.who =fem -[A] assertive- -past the
\p det v    =agtv    =gnd -erg mood-      -tense ptp        det
\x the queen                   did      the

\t authnar                megillon     erannaen
\m autho    =nar     -0   megil -on    er-  anno -ae      -n
\g make.war =one.who -[P] sword -[Obl] do-  give -agt/pat -actn/proc
\p v        =agtv    -abs n     -dat   agt- v    -val     -vc
\x warrior                sword        give

Here the 'warrior' as recipient (authnar-0) takes the core case marking
(absolutive) and 'sword' (megil-on) as gift takes an oblique case marking
(dative).  This should literally be translated as 'The queen gave the
warrior a sword'.  If primacy is to be given to the gift, then a
non-canonical form of the ditransitive requiring the applicative voice must
be used, thus,

\f The queen gave a sword to the warrior.
\t ir  arnarielle              megil
\m i   arro =nar     =iel -e   megil -0
\g the rule =one.who =fem -[A] sword -[P]
\p det v    =agtv    =gnd -erg n     -abs
\x the queen                   sword

\t erdolannien                                             an
\m er-  tol-         an     -n         -ie      -n         an
\g do-  applicative- to.pat -actn/proc -agt/thm -actn/proc to.pat
\p agt- voice-       ptp    -vc        -val     -vc        ptp
\x erdolannien                                             to.pat

\t ir  authnarron               eleth
\m i   autho    =nar     -on    el-        -eth
\g the make.war =one.who -[Obl] assertive- -past
\p det v        =agtv    -dat   mood-      -tense
\x the authnarron               did

Here the underlying oblique argument 'sword' (megil-0) is promoted to
P-function and takes a core case marking (absolutive) while the underlying
P-function argument 'warrior' (authnar-on) is expressed obliquely in the
dative.  This matches the English form 'The queen gave the warrior the