Translation:The boy cannot show the girl the turtle.
Does word order alone clarify what's being shown to whom (indirect object followed by direct object)? Or could you switch them and add til or something if you wanted... "Gutten kan ikke vise skilpadda til jenta"?
(The turtle has a phobia of girls, naturally.)
Yes it does, and yes you could.
Both of your sentences would mean that he showed the turtle to the girl.
Without a preposition the assumed order is IO - DO, but when you add "til" to the sentence it has to come after the direct object and in front of the indirect object - so the order changes.
Keep in mind that "X til X" is also used to show possession, so in some cases "skilpadda til jenta" can be ambiguous and taken to mean "the girl's turtle".
And what happens if ones says "Gutten kan ikke vise skilpadda jenta". Could someone assume that it is still the turtle that can't be shown?
Is this really correct "...the girl the turtle." It sounds and looks very weird.
It sounds fine to me, as a native English speaker. "...show the turtle to the girl" works as well.
I know a guy who used to use "Wanna see my turtle" as a pick up line so this had me in stitches.
Wasn't there a rule that a definite object can always be seen as the subjects belongungs? as in "the boy can't show the girl HIS turtle."
That mostly pertains to clothing, body parts, and certain family members, in cases where everyone would be likely to assume that you're speaking of your own X. It's not a blanket rule.
Hei! why, in this context, does one not say 'jenta skilpadden' = the girl the turtle?
You could say that here. "Skilpadda" is the feminine form of the indefinite singular, while "skilpadden" is the masculine form of the definite singular.
Why is "barna" the children (plural) and "skilpadda" the turtle (singular)? Isn't it "skilpadden" for the turtle?
The declination pattern a noun follows depends on its grammatical gender. For neuter nouns, -a is a definite plural ending, while for feminine nouns it's a definite singular ending.
"en/ei skilpadde" is a feminine nouns, and since all feminine nouns may be treated as if they were masculine, you get two options for the definite singular: "skilpadden" and "skilpadda".