Scope and external datives

Seuren, P. A. M. (2014). Scope and external datives. In B. Cornillie, C. Hamans, & D. Jaspers (Eds.), Proceedings of a mini-symposium on Pieter Seuren's 80th birthday organised at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea.
In this study it is argued that scope, as a property of scope‐creating operators, is a real and important element in the semantico‐grammatical description of languages. The notion of scope is illustrated and, as far as possible, defined. A first idea is given of the ‘grammar of scope’, which defines the relation between scope in the logically structured semantic analysis (SA) of sentences on the one hand and surface structure on the other. Evidence is adduced showing that peripheral preposition phrases (PPPs) in the surface structure of sentences represent scope‐creating operators in SA, and that external datives fall into this category: they are scope‐creating PPPs. It follows that, in English and Dutch, the internal dative (I gave John a book) and the external dative (I gave a book to John) are not simple syntactic variants expressing the same meaning. Instead, internal datives are an integral part of the argument structure of the matrix predicate, whereas external datives represent scope‐creating operators in SA. In the Romance languages, the (non‐pronominal) external dative has been re‐analysed as an argument type dative, but this has not happened in English and Dutch, which have many verbs that only allow for an external dative (e.g. donate, reveal). When both datives are allowed, there are systematic semantic differences, including scope differences.
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