Is one of the two following sentences good Esperanto?
- La patrino lavas al la infano la harojn.
- La patrino lavas la harojn al la infano.
Note that I am not keen on the word order here, but my main concern is the phrase al la infano.
Background: The German sentence Die Mutter wäscht dem Kind die Haare. "The mother washes the child's hair" is the standard example sentence for a linguistic feature that Martin Haspelmath calls Dative external possessor (it really needs a typologist to come up with such a designation!). This construction is wide-spread in European languages (German, Italian, French, Spanish, ...), but absent in English and in most other languages of the world. It is one of the defining features for a Sprachbund called Standard Average European or Charlemagne Sprachbund centered around German and French and extendening to the South and East of Europe.