The influence of animacy, givenness, and focus on object order in Croatian ditransitives

Abstract

This study aims to investigate how animacy, givenness, and focus influence object

order (direct/indirect) preference in Croatian ditransitive structures. An online survey

testing acceptability judgements of four target word orders in various contexts was

conducted on 82 native speakers of Croatian. We found that all three factors have

an effect on word order preference. The study reveals a preference for DO-IO orders

once animacy is neutralized and found that focus influences object order more

strongly than a simple given/new contrast. The preferred word order is verb-directindirect

because of its high judgment score across the task, indicating a wide

contextual applicability.