Glossary of Linguistic Terms

Indirect Object


An indirect object is a grammatical relation that is one means of expressing the semantic role of goal and other similar roles.

It is proposed for languages in which the role is distinct from the direct object and the oblique object on the basis of multiple independent syntactic or morphological criteria, such as the following:

  • Having a particular case marking, commonly dative
  • Governing an agreement affix on the verb, such as person or number
  • Being distinct from oblique relations in that it may be relativized