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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
follows.

(1)
a.He died at home in bed.
b. He died in bed at home.

(2)
a. *?In bed, at home he died
b. ?At home, in bed, he died.

(3)
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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