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LINGUIST List 18.2811

Thu Sep 27 2007

Qs: Word Order Variation of Whole-part Relation

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        1.    Bingfu Lu, Word Order Variation of Whole-part Relation

Message 1: Word Order Variation of Whole-part Relation
Date: 26-Sep-2007
From: Bingfu Lu <lubingfuyahoo.com>
Subject: Word Order Variation of Whole-part Relation
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I am interested in the following cross-linguistic word order variation
pattern, which can be exemplified with the language internal variation as

a.He died at home in bed.
b. He died in bed at home.

a. *?In bed, at home he died
b. ?At home, in bed, he died.

a. At home, he died in bed.
b. *In bed, he died at home

What the paradigm hints is as follows:

When two location or time expressions having the whole-part relation
co-occur, if both follow the verb, both orders are almost equally likely,
as shown in (1).

If both precede the verb, the whole-part order is overwhelmingly dominant
over the opposite, as shown in (2).

If the two appears on the two sides of the verb. Only the whole-part
order is possible, as shown in (3).

I am looking for cross-linguistic data either supporting or denying the
above observation.

If feedback is enough, I will do a summary.

Bingfu Lu
Institute of Linguistics
Shanghai Normal University

Linguistic Field(s): Typology

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