LINGUIST List 5.482

Tue 26 Apr 1994

Qs: Relative clauses, One-anaphora, Esperanto, Spanish

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Directory

  1. Simon Kirby, relative clauses and universals
  2. Robert Dale, One-anaphora
  3. Maryann Overstreet, Esperanto
  4. "Catherine Vivona", Latin AMerican Spanish to English Interlanguage questions

Message 1: relative clauses and universals

Date: Fri, 22 Apr 94 17:12:24 BSrelative clauses and universals
From: Simon Kirby <simonling.edinburgh.ac.uk>
Subject: relative clauses and universals

Hi,

I'm looking for any information on claims about constraints on the
formation of relative clauses across languages. I would like to claim
that the following statements are universal:

a) If a language has a construction in which a head noun
 serves as the object of an embedded relative clause and the
 object of the main clause (OO relative), then it will
 have a construction in which a head noun serves as the object
 of the embedded clause and subject of the main clause (SO relative),
 and vice versa.

b) If a language has a construction in which a head noun
 serves as the embedded subject and the main subject (SS relative),
 then it will have a construction in which a head noun serves
 as embedded subject and main object (OS relative), and vice versa.

This seems sensible from a theoretical point of view: essentially, it
suggests a formal constraint on the form of substantive universals (a
meta-constraint). So, there is a universal that rules out languages
that have object relatives and don't have subject relatives, but there
can be no universal that rules out relative clauses dependent on the head
noun's function in the main clause.

Are there any counter-examples to this claim? I am aware of one from
Hopi (mentioned in a paper by Ken Hale and others in 1977 --- sorry, I
don't have the reference with me), which allows RCs of the OO type but
not the SO type (eg. "John knew the man who you saw", but not "*The
man who you saw knew John"), thus breaking the constraint in (a). Does
anyone know of any papers which mention this peculiarity in Hopi, or a
similar thing in any other language?

Thankyou in advance for any help. If there is any interest I will post
a summary, and any conclusions, to the net.

Simon Kirby (simonling.ed.ac.uk)
Department of Linguistics
University of Edinburgh
Scotland
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Message 2: One-anaphora

Date: Mon, 25 Apr 94 12:08:49 PDOne-anaphora
From: Robert Dale <rdalemicrosoft.com>
Subject: One-anaphora

I'm looking at the computer generation of one-anaphoric expressions, as in

 John had a blue t-shirt
 Mary had a red one

I'm aware of Bonnie Webber's PhD work in this area, but I'm finding it
hard to track down any other sources. I'm not so interested in
syntactic discussions about whether one is an N-bar substitute, or
whatever; I'm more interested in discussions relating to the discourse
functions of one-anaphora (eg focussing in on one member of an already
introduced set; referring to an entity that shares some properties with
an entity already mentioned), so I suspect what I'm looking for may
exist in parts of the literature that are outside my normal stomping grounds.

Can anyone point me to some useful sources? I'll post a summary to the
list if it looks like there's interest.

R
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Message 3: Esperanto

Date: Sat, 23 Apr 1994 17:45:33 Esperanto
From: Maryann Overstreet <overstuhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu>
Subject: Esperanto

I am trying to figure out whether the [ig] morphemes in the following two
examples are the same, or whether there is a typo in the data I am
looking at:

1. La alta knabo malsanigis. 'The tall boy fell ill.'
2. Cu li grandigis la grandecon de la dormejo? 'Did he increase the size
 of the dormitory?'

In #1, the [g] in malsanigis has a circumflex accent over it; in #2, the
form grandigis does not. Is this a way of marking a distinction between
'causative' and 'inchoative' in Esperanto, some other distinction,or is it
just a typo?
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Message 4: Latin AMerican Spanish to English Interlanguage questions

Date: 23 Apr 94 10:00:00 EST
From: "Catherine Vivona" <CVIVONAgmuvax.gmu.edu>
Subject: Latin AMerican Spanish to English Interlanguage questions

I am doing a research project on some specific issues in L2 learning for Latin
 American (El Salvadorian) immigrants enrolled in ESL classes in the US. I am
 interested in your observations and about language transfer issues as
 they relate to:

1. r sounds --

 a. How does the /rr/ trill carry over into English
 b. How does the /r/ tap carry over into English
 c. How easily does the L2 learner acquire the English /r/
 d. How easily does the L2 learner acquire the ENglish flap (in words like
 little, etc. This appears to me to be the same sound as their ta
 /r/ tap. So do you agree or disagree (and why)

2. /s/ and /z/

 a. My subjects rarely showed any used the /zzz/he /z/
 used /z/, even in environments outlined in some spanish texts

 ANy ideas on why it would not show in any environment?

That's it for now. Please excuse extra lines -- I am getting used to the
 terminal and to the Internet and it is a slow process.

Thanks in advance for your ideas and obvservations.

Cathy V



CathyVivona
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