LINGUIST List 4.150

Wed 03 Mar 1993

Disc: Pro-Drop

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Directory

  1. Robert Westmoreland, 4.146 Pro-Drop
  2. Marianna Di Paolo, Pro-Drop
  3. "Dip.Linguistica", Re: 4.146 Pro-Drop

Message 1: 4.146 Pro-Drop

Date: Tue, 2 Mar 93 11:35:45 EST4.146 Pro-Drop
From: Robert Westmoreland <RWESTMORucs.indiana.edu>
Subject: 4.146 Pro-Drop

Regarding alleged pro-drop in colloquial English. It is immediately apparent
that what is omitted in these sentences is not only the subject but also the
auxiliary. This is not characteristic of pro-drop, and suggests, does it not,
that we are dealing with an altogether different phenomenon.
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Message 2: Pro-Drop

Date: Tue, 2 Mar 93 10:50:03 MSTPro-Drop
From: Marianna Di Paolo <dipaoloanthro.utah.edu>
Subject: Pro-Drop

As Swann Philip, John Lawler, and Tom Cravens have pointed out, there
is ample evidence that Pro-drop in English is a variable phenomenon.
Susan Philips and Anne Reynolds have published an empirical study on
pro-drop in English ("The interaction of variable syntax and discourse
structure in women's and men's speech" 1987. In _Language, gender
& sex in comparative perspective_. Cambridge.). (But Philips and
Reynolds don't concern themselves with syntactic or typological questions
concerning pro-drop.) Based on data from voir dire hearings, they
show that under certain discourse conditions men are more likely than
women to delete subject pronouns and HAVE and BE. I have found similar
data in taperecorded formal interviews. Both sets of data could be
described as sentence initial erosion. It is certainly the case that
what is being lost is information known to all parties in the
interaction.

Marianna Di Paolo
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Message 3: Re: 4.146 Pro-Drop

Date: 03 Mar 1993 12:49:21 +0100Re: 4.146 Pro-Drop
From: "Dip.Linguistica" <DIPLINIPDUNIVX.UNIPD.IT>
Subject: Re: 4.146 Pro-Drop

As a native speaker of Italian I can say that in present subjunctive there only
one pronoun which is obligatory:the second singular. Third person and first
person are not obligatory at all. Moreover, if tthere is a clitic reflexive on
the verb, the subject pronoun is not obligatory anymore: Credo che *(tu) parli
Credo che t(tu) ti pettini. Cecilia Poletto DpilinUNIPAD.UNIPD.IT
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