Non-occurring gapping

Thomas Hanke thomashanke at EMAIL.DE
Sun Apr 15 15:28:09 UTC 2007

Dear typologists,

I'm looking for any hint on the non-occurrence or avoidance of  
gapping structures in any language or region. Formulated more  
positively, I search for work on gapping structures, including  
typological or areal studies.
I take "gapping" as referring to constructions with an unexpressed  
verb, mainly as part of coordinate constructions: "I bought a book  
and Bill a newspaper."
Likewise, I'm interested in any hint to similar verbless clauses  
outside of coordination.
I've found some discussion of gapping structures in a number of  
languages mainly from Europe, but for my interest (see below) I'm  
more interested in restrictions.

Many thanks for your interest,

Thomas Hanke
-- -- --
thomashanke at
  FU Berlin, English Studies
   Berlin Utrecht Reciprocals Project
    "A typology of reciprocal markers:
      Analysis and documentation"

The background:
1. I am working on bipartite reciprocal markers like "each other" and  
"one another" - by the way, those seem to be instances of cross- 
linguistic rather rare types. I've been thinking about the original  
parts of constructions with bipartite reciprocal markers. As floating  
doesn't seem to be available for NPs like "one dog"/"one of the  
dogs", gapping clauses came to my mind.
2. Haspelmath (2000: 38) refers to Mallinson and Blake (1981):
"Gapping is impossible in Thai and Mandarin Chinese (Mallinson &  
Blake 1981:218), and even in the southern European language Maltese  
(closely related to Arabic), the same verb occurring with a different  
subject and object is normally repeated." I found some discussion on  
Mandarin Chinese.
Anyway, I haven't been able to find much work on restrictions or  
areal distribution of gapping.

Haspelmath, Martin. 2000. Coordination. pdf version of article in:  
Language typology and linguistic description, 2nd ed. Cambridge: CUP.
Mallinson, Graham & Blake, Barry. 1981. Language typology. Amsterdam:  
North Holland. 

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