Term of Art: Indirect Object

indirect object: An object whose semantic role is characteristically that of a recipient, e.g. to your sister in He blew a kiss to your sister; also, in most accounts, your sister in He blew your sister a kiss. Distinguished as an element in a ditransitive construction from a direct object.

The relation between sentences such as these has been described in terms of dative movement. It is in part because that relation is possible that to your sister can be distinguished, as an object, from directional phrases such as to the seaside as in He sent his family to the seaside.”

Excerpted from: Matthews, P.H., ed. The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

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