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LINGUIST List 20.4422

Sun Dec 20 2009

Qs: Query on Structural Properties and Corpora

Editor for this issue: Elyssa Winzeler <elyssalinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Daniel Everett, Query on Structural Properties and Corpora

Message 1: Query on Structural Properties and Corpora
Date: 18-Dec-2009
From: Daniel Everett <dlevereilstu.edu>
Subject: Query on Structural Properties and Corpora
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I am interested in beginning a statistical study on the relative rarity of
the following patterns (this query will not be the basis for the study!
Just a tool to start gathering data). I am first interested discovering
languages that have any one of the specific properties below. Next I am
interested in information on any languages that are described by a larger
subset of these. Please respond to me individually, rather than to the list
as a whole. I will post a summary if there are enough responses. I would
particularly appreciate any suggestions for particular corpora to consult
in rarer languages.

Thanks very much in advance for your answers.

Dan Everett

1. The language lacks independent factive verbs and epistemic verbs (not
counting the verb 'to see').
2. The language has no morphosyntactic marker of subordination.
3. It has no coordinating disjunctive particles (no words like 'or').
4. It has no coordinating conjunctive particle (no words like 'and').
5. No unambiguous complement clauses (no strong evidence for embedding as
opposed to juxtaposition).
6. No multiple possession (no structures like 'John's father's son' -
whether pre or postnominal) .
7. No multiple modification (no structures like 'two big red apples').
8. No scope from one clause into another: 'John does not believe you left'
(where 'not' can negate 'believe' or 'left', as in 'It is not the case that
John believes that you left' vs. 'It is the case that John believes that
you did not leave')
9. No long-distance dependencies:
'Who do you think John believes __ (that Bill saw__)?'
'Ann, I think he told me he tried to like ___'

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
Text/Corpus Linguistics
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