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LINGUIST List 21.4529

Thu Nov 11 2010

Qs: Multi-Ling Examples: Discontinuous Noun Phrases

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        1.     Gisbert Fanselow , Multi-Ling Examples: Discontinuous Noun Phrases

Message 1: Multi-Ling Examples: Discontinuous Noun Phrases
Date: 08-Nov-2010
From: Gisbert Fanselow <gisbert.fanselowgmail.com>
Subject: Multi-Ling Examples: Discontinuous Noun Phrases
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The Potsdam University Split Noun Phrase project
(http://www.ling.uni-potsdam.de/~split) tries to develop a model for the
constraints on the crosslinguistic variation of discontinuous noun
phrases. We have collected data from roughly 150 languages, more
than half of which on the basis of a questionnaire. In the context of
analyzing these questionnaires, the following issue has come up.

In discontinuous noun phrases as exemplified by German (1) and
Czech (2), heads belonging to the same extended projection of the
noun appear in two different positions of the clause

(1) Bücher  hat  er   viele    gelesen
     books   has  he  many   read
     "He has read many books"

(2) Tři     má     Marie    židle.
     three  has   Mary     chairs-acc
     "Mary has three chairs"

In normal extraction contexts such as (3), an argument or adjunct of
the noun (or a part of such an argument/adjunct) is preposed.

(3) who did you see [a picture of _]

It is not too difficult to find languages in which (3) is fine while (1) and
(2) are not. English is a case in point.

Are there languages in which (1) or (2) are fine while (3) is not? I find it
hard to come up with clear examples, and would like to ask the
community for help.

Thanks,
Gisbert Fanselow

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
                            Typology

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