rarity of preposition stranding

Tim Thornes tthornes at uca.edu
Mon Oct 4 02:32:49 UTC 2010

Can an explanation lie in the simple fact that it's not just verbs that license arguments, and that, if we were to consider the frequency by which non-verbs license arguments cross-linguistically, there may therein lie both a reason for the infrequency of stranding (argument-licenser discontinuity) and its various diachronic manifestations (like English-via-Latin 'contend' or Klamath /ksewa/ 'living object-be/move/be moved into water' or Northern Paiute /tsaka'a/ 'grasp-sever').  Diid I miss something about complex predicates in this discussion?

Best, Tim

Tim Thornes, PhD
Assistant Professor of Linguistics
Department of Writing
University of Central Arkansas
201 Donaghey Avenue
Conway, Arkansas  72035
tthornes at uca.edu

"All grammars leak."  Edward Sapir
>>> Angus Grieve-Smith  10/02/10 12:29 PM >>>
  On 10/2/2010 1:08 PM, Frederick J Newmeyer wrote:
> And nothing (I think) that explains why, despite its typological rarity and therefore possible 'nonfunctionality', English has steadily expanded its stranded preposition possibilities over the centuries, from topicalizations ('John, I would never talk to') to wh-questions ('Who did you talk to') to passives ('John was talked to').
     All you need to explain that is analogical extension.

On 10/2/2010 1:12 PM, Daniel Everett wrote:
> But one could also ask why country music isn't found in Africa.

     I thought you knew to always double-check your data!


                -Angus B. Grieve-Smith
                grvsmth at panix.com

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