One of the main claims of construction grammar is that when there is a difference in form, we should look for a difference in meaning. In this case, the destination construction backgrounds the destination, keeping it outside the scene, and foregrounds the DO. Therefore, the speaker can give more importance to the DO, focus on it, or give it a contrastive value. The IO construction foregrounds the destination by including it the scene and backgrounds the DO. By doing this, we restrict minimally the interpretation possibilities of the previous construction, but we add the possibility of focusing on the destination as an active participant in the event.
Spanish shares with many languages a destination construction. Also like other languages, Spanish has an IO construction, with the difference that it tends to duplicate the IO pronoun—the pleonastic “le”. But, unlike other languages (for example, English or French), Spanish has found a blend between the destination construction and the IO construction that allows destinations —usually things and places— to be personified to perform as indirect objects.
Volumen 23 (2006)