LINGUIST List 8.879

Sun Jun 15 1997

Sum: Sum: Particle Movement

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  1. StThGries, Sum: Particle Movement

Message 1: Sum: Particle Movement

Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 13:38:40 -0400 (EDT)
From: StThGries <>
Subject: Sum: Particle Movement

Dear Linguist Listers, about a month ago I posted a query regarding
literature on 'particle movement' in English or, to be more precise,
literature on factors contributing to the position of the particle in
transitive phrasal-verb constructions such as

(1) a. John brought back the book.
 b. John brought the book back.

In the beginning, I'd like to thank very much all of those who
responded and shared their knowledge with me. Apart from some very
valuable hints I even received offers to send me unpublished papers or
to share the up to now unpublished results of recent research
concerning the topic in question. Additionally, some answers were
suggestions concerning methodological matters or exceptions from the
rules generally cited. Now that I have managed to mail my answers to
all of them individually (my sincere apologies to those who had had to
wait unexpectedly long for their answers) I want to post the summary
of all those who contributed to my research followed by their
suggestions or references (in alphabetical order):

- ------------------

 Aarts, Bas (
Dear Stefan Gries,
Regarding your query on LINGUIST, you may want to have a look at a
paper of mine in the Journal of Linguistics, 25.2, 1989, 277-290:
`Verb-preposition constructions and small clauses in English' (and
references cited there). This article also appears in modified form
in my book _Small Clauses in English: the nonverbal types_. New York
and Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 1992. Hope this is helpful. Bas Aarts

 Cameron, Richard (
For an article which investigates "the factors contributing to the
position of the particle", see:
Kroch, Anthony and Cathy Small. 1978. Grammatical ideology and its
Effect on speech. In David Sankoff (ed.) Linguistic variation: Models
and methods. New York: Academic Press. Pp. 45-55. Good luck. Richard
Cameron (Durham Linguistics)
You might like to look at: Johnson, K. 1991. Object
positions. _Natural Language and Linguistic Theory_ 9:577-636.

 Fischer, Susan (currently:
I did my 1971-2 MIT dissertation on the acquisition of verb-particle
constructions as well as double-object constructions in English. I do
not have a copy of my dissertation (The Acquisition of Verb-Particle
and Dative Constructions) with me here on sabbatical, but the main
point of the structure chapter was that unstressed pronoun direct
objects are cliticized to the verb -- so you must say "I gave it up"
rather than "I gave up it". However, if the pronoun has inherent or
contrastive stress, the particle can intervene between the verb and
the object: "ok I gave up that a long time ago", "I gave up HIM, He
didn't give up ME." Good luck with your work. Susan Fischer

 Foster, Joseph F. (Joseph.FosterUC.Edu)
Mr. Gries,
Re your query on LINGUIST re bring NP back and structures of that ilk,
I believe Chomsky actually used this as one of his examples motivating
transformations in SYNTACTIC STRUCTURES. Nelson Francis also did in
his Structure of American English which was basically an Immediate
Constituent analysis a la Rulon Wells. My chief reason for returning
your signal however is to let you know if you don't already (as your
signal suggests you may not) that there is certainly a dialect of
English in which the particle MUST ALWAYS follow a pronoun direct
object. Thus your (2) b ***John picked up him. is NEVER grammatical
in my English (I speak natively Ozark English but am fluent in
Standard Southern American and pretty fair in Midwestern.) Even if
the HIM be contrastively stressed, it can never follow the particle.
On the other hand, your 1 a and b are both OK. Joe Foster

 Fraser, Bruce (
If you get any answers to your query, I would appreciate learning of
the article. Good luck. Bruce Fraser

 Hagstrom (
Try Hawkins' "Performance Theory of Order and Constituency" Cambridge
University Press 1994 for a processing approach to word order.

 Hawkins, John (
Hi Stefan:
I saw your question on the linguist list re particle positioning. I
have quite a bit of discussion on the ordering of verb, particle and
NP in my 1994 book A Performance Theory of Order and Constituency,
CUP, pp.180-182, and also some textual data. In the meantime I have
collected a whole bunch more data, and have examined the constituent
structure of V-NP-Part sequences in greater detail, and have found
ordering evidence for two quite distinct structures here: one I
analyze as a predication structure in which the Part is semantically a
predication (e.g. lift the child up = the child is up); one in which
it is not and which I analyze as a discontinuous verb-particle
structure (look the number up does not equal the number is up). The
proposed constituency difference predicts different orderings in
conjunction with the basic ordering principle of my book (Early
Immediate Constituents). I haven't got this stuff written up yet, but
I'll be happy to share it with you when I have. Best wishes, John

 Kemmer, Suzanne E. (
I'm happy to hear you're going to work on English particles. I don't
have any references to give you, only a suggestion: The generative
work on particles was not very empirical, and never actually looked at
the distribution of the verb adjacent vs. the postnominal particle.
The distribution is highly lexically governed. (For example, I have
MANY times heard 'look over it' instead of 'look it over', although
all the generative literature assumes only 'look it over', because of
the pronoun. The fact is, 'look over' is coalescing into a single
unit that overrides the pronoun-first preference.) So, my suggestion
is, get yourself a concordance program and actually look at large
samples of English. It's true, it will be written data (unless you
have a spoken corpus), and as such more conservative and somewhat less
open to the innovations people actually make; but some real
generalizations will emerge. You can search on the various particles
(throwing out the prepositional uses) and get an idea of which verbs
like which particles. (If you need suggestions on inexpensive
concordance programs, let me know) Good luck, Suzanne

 Mills, Carl (Carl.MillsUC.Edu)
At the 21st Forum of the Linguistic Association of Canada and the
United States (LACUS), I presented a paper entitled "'Obligatory
Particle Movement' in English," which is available on pp. 195-204 of
the papers from the 21st LACUS Forum, ed. by Mava Jo Powell. I wrote
the paper because I had come across several examples in normal English
conversation that violated your starred example:
(2)	a.	John picked him up.
	b.	*John picked up him.
Because these were examples that I overheard, some on National Public
Radio, I knew that your stipulation "(2b) is starred unless 'him' is
contrastively stressed" did not hold: the pronoun around which the
particle was supposed to have been "moved" was not contrastively
stressed. Within a matter of days, I overheard three sentences: He
wanted to help out them. He went in the house and put down something.
Can you ring up this? I added 21 more sentences, some that I made up
and some that had been starred in various linguistics publications,
and conducted an acceptability judgment survey using a written
questionnaire. Statistically, the results indicated that speakers
accept the sort of rule that underlies your starring of (2b) above,
but they don't always obey the rule. There is more, but you can read
the paper for that. Good luck. Carl Mills

 Nathan, Geoff (
Dear Stefan,
A number of years ago we had a student work on this problem, and she
wrote a thesis using an early version of Cognitive Grammar. She
finished her thesis, and unfortunately dropped out of linguistics--I
don't even know where she is now. But I could send you a copy of her
thesis if that would be of use to you. Best, Geoff Nathan

 Nolan, Brian (

You may find what you need in the works of Talmy, listed below. Talmy
explores the windowing of attention and the linguistic correlates
which pertain to this phenonema. He explains how we can bring to
attention, or focus, certain features in a dialogue and how these can
manifest themselves linguistically via foregrounding and
backgrounding, gapping etc., etc. Talmy's (1996a), or his (1985) work
is probably a good place to start

Talmy, Leonard. (1996a). Windowing of attention in language in
Grammatical Constructions, their form and meaning by Shibatani &
Thompson (Publisher ?)

Talmy, Leonard. (1996b). Fictive motion in Language and "Ception": The
Emanation Type, in P. Bloom et al (Eds.), Language and Space. MIT
Press. Cambridge MA.

Talmy, Leonard. (1985). Lexicalisation patterns: Semantic Structure in
Lexical Forms in T. Shopen (Ed), Language Typology & Syntactic
Description iii: Grammatical Categories and the Lexicon. Cambridge
University Press. Cambridge MA.

Talmy, Leonard. (1978). Figure and Ground in Complex Sentences, in
J. H. Greenberg (Ed). Universals of Human Language iv:
Syntax. Stanford University Press. Stanford, California.

Talmy, Leonard. (1972). Semantic Causative Types in Syntax and
Semantics No. 6. Academic Press. New York.

Talmy, Leonard. (1996). Semantics and Syntax of Motion in Syntax and
Semantics No. 4. Academic Press. New York.

Also, the following book is also very, very useful as an intro to the
area of cognitive linguistics and may also be of interest to you:

Ungerer, F. and Schmid, H., J. (1996). An Introduction to Cognitive
Linguistics. Learning About Language Series. Longman.

Have fun,
Brian Nolan

 Rohrbacher, Bernhard (

Ich nehme an, Du bist mit den diversen Artikeln von Kyle Johnson zu
diesem Thema vertraut. Siehe auch mein Papier "*English Verbs Move
Never" in volume 1 der University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in
Linguistics. Alles Gute, Bernhard Rohrbacher

 Svenonius, Peter (

I can give you a quick rundown of the major syntactic accounts of
particle shift. I realize this may not really be what you're looking
for, but all of the following references do treat the alternation in
word order, although not from a functional or cognitive perspective.
Richard Kayne has a 1985 article in which he adopts a "small clause"
configuration for the particle construction (i.e. "the book back"
would be a small clause, in your example) and relates particle shift
to Heavy NP Shift; the particle moves to the right when it is
phonologically "heavy". I adopted the small clause configuration from
Kayne but criticized the Heavy NP Shift approach to the word order
variation in a 1992 article, and proposed a technical syntactic
solution for particle shift (based on the particle "incorporating"
into the verb). Den Dikken, in his 1992 dissertation (later published
as den Dikken 1995) agreed with my rejection of Kayne's analysis but
tendered some accurate criticism of my approach, and offered a
different syntatic analysis, which also adopts the small clause
structure but which in which shift is characterized as NP movement
across the particle for Case reasons. In my 1994 dissertation, I
accept den Dikken's criticism of my 1992 analysis but show some
evidence that the base structure he assumes is incorrect. I propose
another syntactic account based on two alternative movements; either
the particle moves or the NP moves. In later work I have developed
this approach and extended it to the Scandinavian languages. I have
one article published in 1996 in Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax
and a longer one that hasn't been published anywhere (yet!). I also
have a review of den Dikken's book published in the journal Language.
Two additional recent references are Johnson's 1991 (?) article in
Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, in which the verb plus
particle start out as a constituent, and the verb moves from the
particle (as in most analyses of German and Dutch), and Collins &
Thrainsson's 1996 Linguistic Inquiry article, in which the particle
first moves up to attach to the verb, as in my 1992 article, and then
the verb moves away, as in Johnson. All of the above works deal to
some extent with the basic pattern of shift, which is that pronouns
precede the particle and modified particles (and particles with
complements) follow the noun phrase -- with greater or lesser degrees
of success. For example, pronouns are often considered to have special
properties with respect to Case, and this has been exploited in
several of the above works. In my dissertation, I speculate somewhat
inconclusively that the special positioning of pronouns may be due to
their prosodic lightness, and I expand on that possibility in the WPSS
article, where I show that destressed NPs are best before the
particle, while stressed NPs are better after the particle, e.g. (1)
How with the girls get here?
 a. I'll pick the girls UP
 b. * I'll pick up the GIRLS
 c. I'll pick UP the girls
(2) Who will you pick up?
 a. I'll pick up the GIRLS
 b. * I'll pick the girls UP
 c. I'll pick the GIRLS up

In each case, the (a) example is best, because the natural right-edge
pitch increase coincides with an element that is not old
information. The (b) examples are bad because salient old information
should not be stressed. The (c) examples are acceptable, because
sentence stress doesn't fall on the old information, but are less good
than the (a) examples, because the stress has been shifted away from
the right edge of the sentence. In the article I provide a technical
formal account of this fact. The same kind of account might extend to
the pronouns and modified particles, but some more work is needed,
since examples with particle before pronoun or modified particle after
NP are worse than the (c) examples above, even with stress shift to
the left. However, the fact that stress on a pronoun (or coordination
of pronouns, which also makes them phonologically heavy) allow it to
follow the particle suggests a prosodic account. I realize this has
been rather breezy, but it's because I don't know how much of it
really is of interest to you. If you me to expand on something, just
ask. If you want more complete references, or if you would like me to
send any of my own papers, I'd be happy to oblige. Best, Peter

- ------------------

Again, thanks very much to all of you
Stefan Th. Gries
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