LINGUIST List 9.618

Mon Apr 27 1998

Qs: Obtruent clusters, Word order, Tense marking

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  1. fmorelli, Obstruent clusters in onsets
  2. bingfu, Cross-linguistic word order
  3. Annabel Cormack, Tense marking

Message 1: Obstruent clusters in onsets

Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 18:09:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: fmorelli <>
Subject: Obstruent clusters in onsets

	I am currently investigating certain patterns of occurrence of
obstruent clusters in onset position. I am interested in finding out
whether there are languages that follow one of the following patterns:
	A: Allow only onset sequences of a fricative and a stop. Any
fricative in the language can precede the stop. In other words I am
looking for a language that, unlike English that only allows clusters of
the type 's+STOP, would allow also f+STOP or x+STOP.
	B: Allow onset sequences of a fricative and a stop, or of a
stop and a fricative or of two stops. The fricative in the
fricative-stop sequence can only be a coronal. The language's
inventory contains fricatives at other places of articulation besides
	Any information about such patterns is highly appreciated.
	I will post a summary to the list.
	Frida Morelli
			 	 Frida Morelli
				Linguistics Department
				University of Maryland
	 College Park, MD 20742
				 (301) 314-4039
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Message 2: Cross-linguistic word order

Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 14:43:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: bingfu <>
Subject: Cross-linguistic word order

EXPRESSION "He painted the barn red".

Dear netters, 
	In my previous query about left-right asymmetries in word
order variation, I haven't mentioned the following one, which I would
like to get more information now.
	Hawkins lists ten linear precedence asymmetries as follows in
one of his recent papers ("Adjacency, linear precedence and theory of
dependency strength", USC ms).

 	1.Languages with Wh-question words all
prepose them, and none postpose them. 
 	2. Topicalized XPs with gaps in a sister sentence 
generally precede the sentence. 
	3. Controller NPs generally precede empty 
controllee position in embedded VP structures. 
	4. Subjects generally precede objects. 
	5. Antecedents generally precede reflexive anaphors. 
	9. In the expressions like "he painted the barn
red", the predication categories regularly precede 
direct objects in subject-initial languages while follow 
in subject-final languages. 
	10. Negative polarity items prefer to follow the negation, 
shown in the opposition "I didn't see her on any visit" and 
"*On any visit I didn't see her".
	According to Hawkins, in all the above ten asymmetries, the
general form is that A+B is productive while B+A is either completely
unattested, very rare, or limited in its distribution. Since the form
is not directly involved in a head word as reference point, these
phenomena differ directly from, though indirectly related to, my
lest-right asymmetries of word order variation, which necessarily
makes particular reference to the head word.
	However, in type 9 asymmetries listed by Hawkins, if we change
the relevant reference point 'matrix subject' to 'matrix main verb',
then the phenomenon fall in the realm of my current topic.
	Indeed, there appears an asymmetry such as that in VO
languages, predication expressions may or may not follow the direct
object, but in OV languages predication expressions seem almost all to
follow direct objects, as far as I know now, like in Japanese,
Korean. In short, regarding the expressions like 'he painted the barn
red", Verb-final construction is more stable than the corresponding
verb-initial construction. I would like to make sure of it. Any
suggestions on this issue will be most welcome and be incorporated in
my future summaries.

Bingfu Lu
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Message 3: Tense marking

Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 10:15:16 +0100
From: Annabel Cormack <>
Subject: Tense marking

Can anyone suggest a language which can plausibly be analysed as having
redundant tense marking, i.e. with both a particle and verbal inflection? I
have in mind the (partially) redundant aspectual marking in English, e.g.
'be + -ing' for progressive.

Annabel Cormack
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