I think I remember reading once that cross linguistically, at least in "normal" spoken or written language, verbs almost never take more than ~4-5 obligatory arguments. This seems to be true in my native language, English. Does anyone know of a study showing that this (soft) constraint holds up cross-linguistically?

  • A related question is this one linguistics.stackexchange.com/questions/28569/… — I don't consider it as a duplicate, because the other question does not ask for a study. – jknappen Nov 8 at 19:18
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    3 is the normal maximum for arguments (transfer verbs like give and tell take an agent subject, a human receiver as indirect object, and also a direct object, the thing being transferred). There are also verbs like elect or name that take two direct objects and a subject. But most verbs take one or two. – jlawler Nov 8 at 21:07

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