Noted by Wilson Gray on ADS-L on Monday, from his reading on Facebook. Wilson commented:
Remember the days of yore when people wrote: “depriving millions of health-care”?
The implicit analysis here is that the ordinary argument structure (hereafter, argstr) for the verb deprive has a Direct Object referring to a POSSESSOR in an act of deprivation, and an Oblique Object (marked by the P of) referring to a POSSESSION in this act. In abbreviated form: deprive has the argstr:
(1) SU: AGENT, DO: POSSESSOR, OO(of): POSSESSION
with the semantics that AGENT causes POSSESSOR to come to no longer have POSSESSION.
But the Facebook sentence has an argstr with a Direct Object referring to a POSSESSION and an Oblique Object (marked by the P for) referring to a POSSESSOR:
(2) SU: AGENT, DO: POSSESSION, OO(for): POSSESSOR
with the same semantics as in (1).
Now, alternative argstrs for the same verb are very common; the question is which verbs have which structures. Wilson’s judgment (which I share) is that deprive is fine in structure (1) — deprive millions of health-care — but not in structure (2) — deprive health-care for millions. (Divest is similar to deprive here.)