LINGUIST List 15.1903

Wed Jun 23 2004

Qs: Verbless Configurations;Lang Acquisition Theory

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  1. Francisco Gonz�lvez-Garc�a, Counterfactual verbless configurations across lgs
  2. Naicker Suren, question

Message 1: Counterfactual verbless configurations across lgs

Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 21:04:24 -0400 (EDT)
From: Francisco Gonz�lvez-Garc�a <>
Subject: Counterfactual verbless configurations across lgs

Dear members of the LINGUIST list,

I am currently investigating the effects of coercion (as in Michaelis
2002, 2003) in low-level configurations of the type in (1) and (2)for

(1) Te hac�a en Londres
(2) Te cre�a en Par�s
 You-ACCUSATIVE believed-IMPERFECT 1stPERS.SG in Paris

These configurations activate coercion (i) when the verb takes the
form of the imperfect preterite, not the indefinite preterite (*hice
('made')/*cre� ('believed') and (ii) require a prepositional phrase or
an adverbial phrase as XP after the intervening nominal with a literal
(usually locative) meaning. Otherwise, the configuration is not
acceptable (e.g. ''Yo te creo en Londres :: I you believe in London 'I
believe you in London'). Moreover, they carry the implication that the
speaker's prior prediction about the state of affairs encoded in the
postverbal sequence is actually wrong, something of which the speaker
has first-hand evidence. I would very much appreciate if native
linguists from the list could let me know if these configurations are
acceptable in their respective language in the verbless clause
configuration (as in (1)-(2) above), or whether, by contrast, a finite
complement clause must be used instead, as in English (i.e. * I
thought you in London :: I thought you were in London). I would be
more than happy to post a summary with the contributions from the
members of the list.

Thank you in advance for your time and cooperation.
All best,
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Message 2: question

Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 09:05:31 -0700 (PDT)
From: Naicker Suren <>
Subject: question

I was wondering if anyone has any critical comments on Geoffrey
Sampson's theory on language acquisition, as outlined in his Educating

Suren Naicker, BA (Hons.) (Wits)
School of Literature and Language Studies
Wits University
South Africa
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