LINGUIST List 15.624

Mon Feb 16 2004

Qs: Vowel Systems/Quantity; Parasitic Gaps

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  1. Oliver Pechenik, changes in vowel systems
  2. Shinya Uchishiba, A query about parasitic gaps

Message 1: changes in vowel systems

Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2004 13:44:17 -0500 (EST)
From: Oliver Pechenik <>
Subject: changes in vowel systems

I have been wondering about historical developments of vowel systems.
There seem to be various mechanisms for changes in vowel quality. But
it is hard to find explanations for changes in vowel quantity,
excepting changes caused by association with other languages. Do you
know of any recorded examples of changes in vowel quantity not
effected by a neighboring language? Thanks.
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Message 2: A query about parasitic gaps

Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 01:55:04 -0500 (EST)
From: Shinya Uchishiba <>
Subject: A query about parasitic gaps

Dear Linguists,

As well known, parasitic gaps are licensed inside subject islands. In
addition, they can appear inside internal arguments, as shown below:

(1) Who did John show pictures of (pg) to (t)?
 (Nissembaum 2000: ft 10, p106)

I wish to know if in a double object construction parasitic gaps can
appear both inside the subject and inside the indirect object, as in

(2) a. Which book did everyone who read (pg) send back Bill
 b. Which book did John send back the author of (pg) (t)?
 c. Which book did everyone who read (pg) send back the
 author of (pg) (t)?

If all the parasitic gaps in (2) are licensed, they provide clues for
elucidating the structure of a DOC, I think. Given Nissenbaum's
(2000) in-depth investigation of parasitic gaps (''investigations of
covert phrase movement''), the parasitic gaps in (2c) suggest that the
wh-operator moves over the indirect object as a first step and then
over the subject as a second step. If so, verbal projections should
be stacked in the structure in question, as several generativists have
already proposed.

I would be very grateful for any information and any data concerning
the topic. Thank you in advance.


Shinya Uchishiba 

Subject-Language: English; Code: ENG 
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