LINGUIST List 6.1654

Fri Nov 24 1995

Qs: Demonstratives, Compound Nouns in Prefixing Lgs, Greek

Editor for this issue: Ljuba Veselinova <>


  1. Maite Ezcurdia Olavarrieta, Demonstratives
  3. Vincent DeCaen, Q? Greek syntax?

Message 1: Demonstratives

Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 18:03:06 Demonstratives
From: Maite Ezcurdia Olavarrieta <>
Subject: Demonstratives

I hold the view that bare demonstratives like "that", "this", which
occur with no predicative element, common noun, or relative clauses,
behave as as noun phrases, but that in complex demonstratives "that F"
or "this F that is G", "this" and "that" (as well as their plurals)
behave as determiners. Yet there seems to be some evidence against
this. I was recently told that in Haitian Creole "that" in complex
demonstratives like "that house" must be preceded by a determiner. I

 (i) whether there are any particular kinds of determiners that
must precede the "that",
 (ii) whether this applies to all complex demonstratives, that
is, also to those with a relative clause like "that man who is
standing there" or with a name like "that John",
 (iii) whether this applies to bare demonstratives like "this"
and "that",
 (iv) whether it occurs in other languages as well, and
 (v) whether there are any accounts out there of the
grammatical role of "that" in those cases.

I'll be thankful for any information anyone can provide on this point.

Maite Ezcurdia

Maite Ezcurdia
Instituto de Investigaciones Filosoficas
Ciudad Universitaria
Mexico D.F. 04510
Tel. (525) 6227208
fax. (525) 6654991
 (525) 6227427
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From: Robert Beard <>

For a paper on the ordering of constituents in nominal compounds I
need the following bits of information.

1. Romance languages suffix their nominal lexical derivations,
e.g. French _coup-eur_ 'cutter', but orders its compound Ns
Head+Modifier, so that compound affixation is scheduled for the
modifier rather than the head. This results in a conflict with the
principle that the head rather than the modifier of derivations is
normally affixed (Hoeksema, Stumpe). As a result (1) French resorts
to compounding far less than IE languages which order modifiers before
the head and (2) when compounds are generated, affixation is omitted,
e.g. _coupe-fil_ 'wire-cutters'. I think that the reason French
positions its compound modifiers after the head is that it positions
its adjectives after nouns in NPs and that a single principle controls
modifier-head ordering at all levels.
 The same behavior should characterize a prefixing language which
positions its NP and nominal compound modifiers consistently BEFORE
the head, but I have not been able to find any such. (Prefixing
languages are less common, of course, than those which predominately
suffix.) Does anyone know of such a language, that is, a language
which prefixes simple lexical nominalizations (_er-drive_ rather than
_driv-er_) AND places modifiers in NPs before heads in default
conditions (e.g. _bad driver_ rather than _driver bad_)? If so, I
would be interested in the constituent order of nominal compounds like
_lion-hunter_ and the status of affixation (if any). Results will be
acknowledged and reported in San Diego or individually by email to
anyone who wishes.

2. I need a couple of productive examples of A+N or N+A nominal
compounds in Navajo, such as the Koasati example _hakco baski_ =
ear-long 'long-ear (mule)'. Two will be fine so long as I may be
assured that there are many more available. I suspect Geoffrey Kimball
could provide me with these but I have not been able to find an
address for him.

Robert Beard Bucknell University
Russian & Linguistics Programs Lewisburg, PA 17837 717-524-1336
Russian Program
Morphology on Internet
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Message 3: Q? Greek syntax?

Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 11:53:46 Q? Greek syntax?
From: Vincent DeCaen <>
Subject: Q? Greek syntax?

I came across a thin volume at the Society of Biblical Literature
meeting in Philadelphia: "Levels of Constituent Structure in New
Testament Greek" by Michael Palmer (1995). it is of some interest
theoretically. I talked to Palmer, and the sense is that there's
virtually nothing in Gov-Binding or related frameworks on New
Testament Greek syntax, especially the curious facts around nominal

Q1. is it the case that no one else is working on NTGreek syntactic

Q2. is it the case that no one else is working on *Modern* Greek
syntactic structures? especially the nominals? are they similar????
are there refs I could look at? especially assuming the DP hypothesis?

Q2B. if the syntax is broadly similar, perhaps I should ask for
greek-speaking linguists to help explore the Modern as a heuristic for
the study of the ancient dialects? especially the nominals?

Vincent DeCaen

Near Eastern Studies,		 Religion & Culture,
University of Toronto	 Wilfrid Laurier University
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