Dative alternation refers to the phenomenon whereby verbs denoting a kind of transfer may occur in two different constructions (e.g. John gave Mary a book vs. John gave a book to Mary.) This research project aims at offerening a historical description of the different language changes that are involved in the emergence and evolution of this type of alternation. Additionally, an explanation is sought for each of these changes. The research methodology consists of a literature survey and (historical) corpusresearch.