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USAGE: objects of either directivity

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 24, 2003, 15:44
In English, there are several verbs, mostly of telling, which
can take an indirect and a direct object, as in "Tell me a story."
However, when the verb has only a direct object, that object can
fill either role:  "Tell me."  "Tell the story."  It's like a bridi
with three sumti where the third is optional, but where there's possibly
an implied "se te" before the brivla.

How common is this sort of thing in other languages?  Is
it mostly an Indo-European phenomenon, or nearly universal, or otherwise