This paper investigates the replacement of dative/non-nominative Experiencers of like by nominative ones in the history of English. e literature on this issue has traditionally supposed that this change was caused by the decline of the dative case ending. However, Allen（ 1995） reveals that there was a substantial time lag between the decline of the morphological dative and the loss of nonnominative Experiencers and that nominative and non-nominative Experiencers coexisted for more than a century. is is problematic for the view of the language change endorsed by the principles-and-parameters approach, which claims that changes of this kind should occur in an abrupt and radical fashion. To reconcile this paradox, I put forth an analysis that makes use of two parameters, maintaining that the emergence of nominative Experiencers was enabled by the decline of the morphological dative, while the loss of non-nominative Experiencers stemmed from the loss of verb second. is analysis can also account for residual non-nominative Experiencers in Modern English.
Studies in Modern English
Faculty of Education