LINGUIST List 14.1554

Mon Jun 2 2003

Qs: Hindi Scrambling; Etymology of 'Paleo'

Editor for this issue: Naomi Fox <>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate. In addition to posting a summary, we'd like to remind people that it is usually a good idea to personally thank those individuals who have taken the trouble to respond to the query. To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at


  1. Toru Ishii, Hindi Scrambling

Message 1: Hindi Scrambling

Date: Sat, 31 May 2003 01:29:47 +0000
From: Toru Ishii <>
Subject: Hindi Scrambling

Dear All,

 Mahajan (1990) observes that clause-internal scrambling does not
remedy the Weakcross Over (WCO) effects when the scrambled phrase is a
non-agreeing object, citing the following example:

(1) *?kOn se laRkaa uskii maaN (t) ghar se nikaal degii
 which boy his mother home from throw out (fut)
 'Which boy will his mother throw out of the house?'
 (where ''kOn se laRkaai (which boy)'' = ''uskii (his)'')

I'd like to know whether the WCO effects also appear when non-agreeing
objects undergo long-distance scrambling. Conceretly, are (2, 3)
acceptable or not under the interpretation that ''kOn se laRkaai
(which boy)'' = ''uskii (his)''? In (2), the bound pronoun ''uskii
(his)'' is in the embedded subject position; in (3), it is in the
matrix subject position:

(2) kOn se laRkaa raam-ne socaa [ki uskii maaN (t) ghar 
 which boy Ram-erg thought that his mother home 
 se nikaal dii]
 from threw out 
 'Which boy did Ram think that his mother threw (t) out of 
 the house?' 

(3) kOn se laRkaa uskii maaN-ne socaa [ki Sita (t) ghar 
 which boy his mother-erg thought that Sita home 
 se nikaal dii]
 from throw out 
 'Which boy did his mother think that Sita threw (t) out 
 of the house?'

I've constructed the above examples by myself, so there may be
mistakes about agreement, Case, choice of words, etc. If you find any
mistakes, please correct them and inform me of your judgements of the
corrected ones. Thanks.

Toru Ishii
School of Arts and Letters
Meiji University, Tokyo, JAPAN 

Subject-Language: Hindi; Code: HND 
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue


Date: Sun, 01 Jun 2003 07:41:37 +0000
From: A.S. Sundar <>

 The word "paleo-" used in English is a learned borrowing from Greek
"palaio" meaning "old". The following words in English are compound
words formed with the above word. The list is not exhaustive.
 Paleethnology, paleobiology, paleobotany, paleocene, paleography,
paleogene, paleogeography, paleography, paleology etc.
 This word " paleo" is seen in a no of words belonging to Tamil
language, considered to be one of the oldest languages of the
world. The Tamil words relating to the word "paleo" and their meanings
are furnished below.
 " Palaia" means " old"
 "Palaia choru" means "old rice"
 "Palaiaaroo" means "old river"
 The similarity between the two words is striking. To find out
whether this word was borrowed by Tamil from Greek or vice-versa, we
may scrutinise the root of this word in both the languages. In Tamil
"palu" is a verb which means to "ripe". A ripe fruit is called "palam"
in Tamil.From the word "palam" the word "palutha" is derived. This
word "palutha" means ripe old,thus denoting old age. "Palaia" is a
extended form of "palutha". The opposite of "palaia" is "puthia" which
means "new".This pattern of "opposites words" formation is the
characteristic of Tamil language. In spoken Tamil "old" is refered as
"palasu". The absence of such comparable words in Greek leads one to
safely conclude that the word "paleo" used widely in English, has
Tamil roots.The word might have reached Greek language from Tamil
during their trade contacts with the Tamil nations circa 4 century
B.C. Evidence of trade between the two peoples is available in early
Tamil literature.

 Comments and suggestions welcome.


Subject-Language: Greek; Code: GRK 
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue