11 January 2007

random data point: double object + particle verb

Overheard not 5 minutes ago:

"...and I wanted to know if I could pick you up something for the ..."

This combines a double object verb construction (V NP NP, where the first NP is essentially a recipient, as in [give][me][a book] or [make][her][lunch]) with a particle verb construction (V + Part, where the verb and particle semantically form a unit but are necessary separated if the direct object is a preposition, as in look me up or track him down. I don't recall ever hearing a construction in which the verb is both a double object and a particle verb (and hence V NP Part NP, as in pick you up something).

2 Comments:

At Wed Jan 31, 12:15:00 PM 2007, Blogger Neal said...

I've heard this construction before. I don't remember where, but I do remember being slightly garden-pathed when I heard, "pick me up" before the following NP arrived and turned the me into an indirect object. Now that I think about it, though, I can only get this parse with an indefinite NP:

pick me up a sixpack
*pick me up my dry-cleaning

 
At Mon Feb 25, 12:07:00 PM 2008, Blogger czeltic girl said...

Here in Milwaukee, you used to hear this sort of construction a lot, mostly on the very Polish and German South Side. It's still used a bit today, but not quite as frequently.

 

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