i. Justin knitted Mary some outfits.

ii. Justin knitted some outfits for Mary.

Is there a difference in the thematic roles of the italicized constituents of these two sentences?

They both look like beneficiaries to me. However, I'm not sure whether they're the same.

  • 1
    This is a case of the benefactive mimicking the role of dative receiver and undergoing dative alternation. This can happen to a benefactive phrase with for, provided the benefactee receives the direct object as a result of the action of the verb. Exx: He fixed supper for her ==> He fixed her supper , but He fixed the car for her ==> *He fixed her the car does not work. So it's a beneficiary pretending to be a dative, and getting close enough to work under the right circumstances.
    – jlawler
    Apr 21, 2015 at 13:43


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