Stone Gordonssen wrote:
>> > I'm just saying that "I gave the dog to John" is basically the same
>> > sentence as "I gave the dog"...the recipient is optionally supplied by
>> > means of an oblique (a prepositional phrase). In "I gave John the dog",
>> > on the other hand, no arguments are oblique, so in this case "gave" is
>> > ditransitive. It's sort of like the difference between "The door opens"
>> > and "He opens the door", except in regards to the indirect object. Not
>> > sure if that made it any clearer...
>> No, 'John' is oblique.  The fact that it's not marked does not make it
>> any
>> less so.  It's oblicity(??) is shown by word-order, I think.
> Interesting. I tend to agree with Joe. To my mind, weather or one sentence
> is labelled "ditransitive", "John" still seems to be as much an oblique (or
> indirect object) by position/convention as does "to John" by preposition,
> thought there is an inner part of me which says that I parse both a bit
> differently. Hmm.
> I also don't follow the "The door opens" allusion, esp. since one can't, by
> convention, say in English "He opens me the door". I suspect this is
> because
> I see "the door opens" as "the door opens (itself)".

Well, I was comparing the transitive/ditransitive distinction in "give"
to the intransitive/transitive distinction in "open". I wasn't claiming
that "open" was ditransitive...sorry if I gave that impression.

Nik's explanation is a lot clearer than mine.

> Verbs like "see" are still ill-defined in Bes Dis'z as I tried to constrict
> it to use only transitive verbs. For "I see him" I cheat by using "He is
> seen by me" - "rafíd sil" - as "I see him" - "sifíd san" translates more as
> "I cause him to be seen". I've never liked this, but is a bit too late
> to go
> about shifting verb forms in Bez Dis'z. ::shrug:: We live and learn.

Not sure what's going on in those examples. I'm not familiar with your
language...are "rafíd" and "sifíd" the verbs? Could you give interlinears?