This book investigates central issues in the syntax and focus structure of the English dative alternation. After a critical review of approaches in generative grammar, it defends an analysis of the double object construction as an applicative. By taking into account recent approaches to argument structure, syntactic and morphological evidence is discussed for relating the two alternants in terms of incorporation of an empty preposition. The second part is devoted to prosodic investigations of the focus structure of the alternation within the framework of the argument structural approach. Accentual patterns in controlled discourse contexts are used as a test for the adequacy of the syntactic analysis. Also included is a study of the prosody of Romanian declaratives and a discussion of the relation between focus, prosody and word order in Romanian triadic constructions.