On the Indirect Object in English and Croatian

Journal of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, No. 5, 2012

Preliminary communication

Nataša Stojan ; University of Split, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 

pages 313-325


This paper gives a critical description of the indirect object in English and Croatian. Grammatical relationships between verb and object are described with the aim of determining the similarities and differences in verb complementation between English and Croatian. Difficulties related to the classification of Croatian verbs that take an indirect object are also discussed. Analysis of English ditransitive complementation is presented since it is related to the description and characterization of direct and indirect objects, thus drawing attention to complex relationship between semantic and syntactic functions in a sentence. The paper deals with the semantics of the object, which usually refers to the relationship between predicate and object, in the sense that a nominal phrase which has the morphosyntactic features of an object
can have different semantic roles. It also presents a conceptual characterization of basic grammatical functions within the framework of Cognitive Grammar, which tries to capture universal aspects of language structures. The paper aids comprehension of both object and sentence structure, and it shows that relations between the verb and its complements can be explored on a conceptual level of analysis.


Cognitive Grammar; Croatian; English; indirect object; semantic roles