LINGUIST List 12.2826

Mon Nov 12 2001

Qs: "Movement Paradox", Ling Map of Afghanistan

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  1. Carsten Breul, movement paradoxes
  2. David Cahill, Languages of Afghanistan

Message 1: movement paradoxes

Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 12:17:54 +0100
From: Carsten Breul <>
Subject: movement paradoxes

Dear all,

Bresnan (1991, 2001: 16ff.) presents the following examples 
and judgments and points out that they pose a problem for 
theories of syntax in which it is assumed that the _that_-
clause in front position is moved there from a position in 
which it is complement of _of_ /_about_. 

(1)	a.	*He didn't think of that he might be wrong (from id. 
1991: 54)
	b.	That he might be wrong he didn't think of (from ib.)

(2)	a.	*We talked about that he was sick for days (from ib. 
2001: 17)
	b.	That he was sick we talked about for days (from ib.)

Bresnan calls this observation "movement paradox". (But she 
also notes (2001: 24, n. 2) that "in some dialects of 
English examples like [{ REF _Ref518219611 }2a] do occur.")

A similar kind of movement paradox seems to hold in the 
following examples (from Ward 1986/1988: 192ff.).

(3)	a.	We had both been thrown into the water to sink or 
swim, and SWIM WE HAD - we had swum from very far apart 
	b.They told him that he had to be there all day long and 
BE THERE ALL DAY LONG HE HAS! (constructed; Ward's judgment)
	c.	They provided us with enough beer to drink all day long 
and DRINK ALL DAY WE HAVE! (ditto)
	d.	We had to stand firm, and STAND FIRM WE HAVE! (ditto)

In these cases, reconstitution of the (infinitival?) VP in 
front position into post-auxiliar position does not give a 
well-formed source for a movement operation. 

Can anyone direct me to literature where this problem has 
been addressed in a movement-framework (Principles & 
Parameters, Minimalist Program)? Or does anyone have an 
idea -- which (s)he might want to share -- how this problem 
may be approached in a movement-framework? Am I allowed to 
assume that the empirical claims (i.e. judgments) presented 
above are supported by many native speakers of English? 

I would be very grateful for comments, suggestions, hints 


Bresnan, Joan. 1991. "Locative Case vs. Locative Gender". 
In: Sutton, Laurel A. & Johnson, Christopher & Shields, 
Ruth (eds.): Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Meeting 
of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, February 15-18, 1991. 
Berkeley (CA): Berkeley Linguistics Society. 53-66.

Bresnan, Joan. 2001. Lexical-Functional Syntax. Malden (MA) 
& Oxford: Blackwell.

Ward, Gregory L. 1986/1988: The Semantics and Pragmatics of 
Preposing. New York & London: Garland. 

Dr. Carsten Breul
Universit�t Dortmund
Institut f�r Anglistik und Amerikanistik
Emil-Figge-Str. 50
44221 Dortmund
phone: (0231) 755-2898
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Message 2: Languages of Afghanistan

Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 16:43:55 -0800 (PST)
From: David Cahill <>
Subject: Languages of Afghanistan

To linguist listserv members:

Where I can find a linguistic map or good descriptive breakdown of the
languages of Afghanistan? Textbooks on world languages tend to be
vague about this region of the world. I am especially interested in
the relative number and geographical distribution of speakers of
Pashto, Dari, etc., and the same for Pakistan and other surrounding
countries, both inside and outside the Iranian family of languages. 
Also, has anything been written on the socio-political dynamics of the
linguistic breakdown of Afghanistan? I will post a summary.

David Cahill
Dept of English (MC 162)
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL USA

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