LINGUIST List 6.127

Sun 29 Jan 1995

Qs: Syntax, French, Central V's, Deontic modality

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Stuart Robinson, Wackernagel's Position
  2. , French Questions
  3. Naima Louali, Q: Length of central V's ; Tuareg V's
  4. , deontic modality

Message 1: Wackernagel's Position

Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 18:16:18 Wackernagel's Position
From: Stuart Robinson <>
Subject: Wackernagel's Position

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Recently, the subject of structure-dependent vs. structure-independent
rules has come up in one of my classes. Comrie (1989) discusses the issue
and cites Serbo-Croatian, which has an element that shows up on the first
word of a sentence, (usually) without regard to constituency. I know that
a similar phenomenon occurs in other languages (e.g., '-na' in Latin or
particles such as 'to' or 'xa' in Tzotzil). I have heard this second
position referred to as Wackernagel's Position, but I have not been
able to find much literature on the subject (in English). Does anyone out
there know of literature that is relevant to: 1) the issue of
structure-dependent vs. structure-independent rules, and/or 2)
Wackernagel's Position? Please address any responses directly to me. I
will post a summary if there is sufficient interest. Thank you.

Stuart Robinson
Reed College
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Message 2: French Questions

Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 23:23:20 French Questions
From: <>
Subject: French Questions

Content-Length: 1338

I am inquiring about the intonation of wh-questions in French. I have
two specific questions in mind.
 1) What is the intonation of a typical wh-question?
 2) Given the fact that in some cases wh-words are fronted
 and in other cases wh-words remain in situ, is there
 any difference in the intonation pattern of pairs of sentences
 such as:
 Il est ou, papa?
 Ou il est, papa?

Please forgive me for not using the appropriate accent marks, I have
not mastered e-mail as of yet.

Thanks in advance
 Fran Gulinello
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Message 3: Q: Length of central V's ; Tuareg V's

Date: Fri, 27 Jan 95 16:37:44 +0Q: Length of central V's ; Tuareg V's
From: Naima Louali <>
Subject: Q: Length of central V's ; Tuareg V's

I am a specialist of Berber, and would be grateful for any information on
the following.
The phonological system of Tuareg has 7 vowel qualities, some of them
central. For /i, u, e, a/ there is a length contrast (put to morphological
use in the conjugation, where some verbal forms are distinguished by vowel
length), but this contrast does not exist for the central V's. So Prasse
analyzes the Tuareg system as showing 3 degrees of length (short, long,
extralong). It is not clear whether this distinction is supposed to be
phonetic or phonemic.

My queries are :
(1) From a phonetic point of view, does "central vowel" imply "short vowel"
generally or always ?
(2) From a phonemic point of view, are there vowel systems where the
lengthening of central V's is possible, particularly for morphological
reasons ?
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Message 4: deontic modality

Date: Fri, 27 Jan 95 15:57:38 NFdeontic modality
From: <>
Subject: deontic modality

Dear linguists,

I am a research student in the field of sociolinguistics in English
dealing with pragmatics of deontic speech.
In my project I want to combine questions of sex-differentiated
conversational structures in application to deontic modality in everyday
speech using a corpus of spoken (conversational) English as the empirical
Is there anybody on the list who could either give me any advice towards
reference literature concerning questions of discourse analysis in
combination with deontic modality or even deals with related topics
him-/herself? I would appreciate an exchange of ideas a lot.

Elke Sippel
Dept. of English & American Studies
University of Jena
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