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

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.