LINGUIST List 6.18

Thu 12 Jan 1995

Qs: Wh-non-fronting, Swahili, Middle English, Address request

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  1. Steven Schaufele, Q: wh-non-fronting
  2. Vincent DeCaen, Q: Swahili tense-aspect
  3. Vincent DeCaen, Q English a-V-ing
  4. Gabriel Decio, request for address

Message 1: Q: wh-non-fronting

Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 11:01:20 -Q: wh-non-fronting
From: Steven Schaufele <>
Subject: Q: wh-non-fronting

In connection with a possible paper topic, i'm interested in tracking
down some scholarly discussions of either optional or obligatory failure
to front wh-elements and similar constituents.

First of all, what if anything has been said about the fact that in
English it is possible for a wh-element not to be fronted in an echo-
question or when it is given heavy emphasis? Are there any perspicuous
syntactic analyses of strings like 'You gave Paula WHAT?' as opposed to
'What did you give Paula?' around anywhere? What about similar pheno-
mena in other languages?

Secondly, there are several languages known to allow multiple syntactic
wh-fronting. Dana McDaniel and Catherine Rudin have discussed a few such
languages, as have i myself (cf. refs. below). I'd like to know if there
are any languages other than those discussed by McDaniel, Rudin, and me
that are known to have this property. I'd particularly like to know of
any such languages that allow pronominal-fronting only optionally. I.e.,
even if it's normal for wh-elements and/or other pronominal constituents
to be fronted, even if it's normal for several such elements to be fron-
ted together in a single clause so that in the typical clause all wh-
elements end up being fronted, is it possible for some to be fronted and
others to remain in situ? Vedic Sanskrit is such a language; i want to
know of others.

Any tips welcome; i'll summarize for the list.

McDaniel, Dana. 1989. Partial and Multiple Wh-Movement. NLLT 7:565-604.

Rudin, Catherine. 1988. On Multiple Question and Multiple Wh Fronting.
NLLT 6:445-501.

Schaufele, Steven. 1988. Where's my NP? Non-Transformational Analyses
of Vedic Pronominal Fronting. Studies in the Linguistic Sciences 18.2:

Dr. Steven Schaufele
712 West Washington
Urbana, IL 61801

**** O syntagmata linguarum liberemini humanarum! ***
*** Nihil vestris privari nisi obicibus potestis! ***
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Message 2: Q: Swahili tense-aspect

Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 13:54:48 -Q: Swahili tense-aspect
From: Vincent DeCaen <>
Subject: Q: Swahili tense-aspect

I am curious about several features of the Swahili verbal system, and
I'm hoping someone can put me on the right track.
1) the tense-aspect particles are presented together in grammars, but
apparently they are separated by behaviour: especially a systematic
stacking: tense) aspect, by the verb "be" taking tense in a compound
construction. I am wondering if the morpheme -ta- ("future") can
enter into any combinations, especially with -li.
2) there is a consecutive form in -ka. what is the etymology of this
formative? what is the status of cognates in -ka-?
2B) is the conjunction ungrammatical with -ka- forms???
2C) is there any syntactic peculiarity associated with -ka-,
especially word order variation??
2D) what other related languages use a "ka-like" system in
serialization, ie., is this a purely Swahili innovation in E. Africa
(understanding of course that the general phenomenon is indeed well attested)?
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Message 3: Q English a-V-ing

Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 14:06:19 -Q English a-V-ing
From: Vincent DeCaen <>
Subject: Q English a-V-ing

I am puzzled about the account of middle English a-V-ing from *on
V-ing. Admittedly, there is such a construction found in Old English,
(cf. Germanic cognates, e.g., Dutch, German),
but it doesn't follow that there is a direct link. What is the
evidence, or is this only a reasonable hypothesis?

The most straightforward analysis, it seems to me, is a-V-ing from *at
V-ing. There are several general considerations that suggest the alternative.
1) phonetic change: all things being equal, I would think the nasal
has more staying power.
2) English creoles: a ( *at, (cf. French a < ad), hence, e.g.,
Jamaican progressive: a V.
3) language contact: a) Norse at V-ing, e.g, Icelandic ad V; b)
Celtic at V-ing, eg., Irish ag V-adh, Scots Gaelic a' (both pronounced [a]).
4) typologically, at is favoured prep. for progressive construction.

Just curious.
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Message 4: request for address

Date: Thu, 5 Jan 95 13:20:31 ESTrequest for address
From: Gabriel Decio <>
Subject: request for address

In an attempt to get Bozena Rozwadowska's email address, i have
checked the e-mail list issued by Linguist, the one by the LSA, and
the one by The only list where BR is listed is the Linguist
e-mail list, but i have tried that address (adding also a few
variations that i thought might work) and the message bounced back
because supposedly the address does not exist.

I would appreciate any suggestions or help with findin her address.

Gabriel Decio

| Gabriel A. Decio |
| Dept. of English | Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs |
| Heavilon Hall | American Railway Building |
| Purdue University |
| West Lafayette, IN |
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