The aim of this paper is to provide an explanation of the emergence of dom in peripheral Macedonian dialects through a reevaluation of the contact hypothesis. The southern and south-western dialects in the contact zones with Greek and Aromanian use a dative-based pattern to mark specific, predominantly human and animate referents. However, the contact hypothesis cannot fully explain the origin of dom in the southernmost dialects because it overlooks the wider interlingual context within which this change occurred. Relying on the analysis of the examples from the oldest sources with dom, the author argues in favor of a multifactorial explanation of its origin: contact obscured the case marking functions of clitics and provided an analytic direct object pattern. The introduction of na-marking on direct objects satisfied both the semantic and pragmatic requirements of a successful message by discriminating between the syntactic functions and discourse prominence of the object participant.