21.4529, Qs: Multi-Ling Examples: Discontinuous Noun Phrases

Thu Nov 11 17:40:27 UTC 2010

LINGUIST List: Vol-21-4529. Thu Nov 11 2010. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.

Subject: 21.4529, Qs: Multi-Ling Examples: Discontinuous Noun Phrases

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Date: 08-Nov-2010
From: Gisbert Fanselow [gisbert.fanselow at gmail.com]
Subject: Multi-Ling Examples: Discontinuous Noun Phrases

-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 12:39:03
From: Gisbert Fanselow [gisbert.fanselow at gmail.com]
Subject: Multi-Ling Examples: Discontinuous Noun Phrases

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The Potsdam University Split Noun Phrase project
(http://www.ling.uni-potsdam.de/~split) tries to develop a model for the 
constraints on the crosslinguistic variation of discontinuous noun 
phrases. We have collected data from roughly 150 languages, more 
than half of which on the basis of a questionnaire. In the context of 
analyzing these questionnaires, the following issue has come up.

In discontinuous noun phrases as exemplified by German (1) and 
Czech (2), heads belonging to the same extended projection of the 
noun appear in two different positions of the clause 

(1)    Bücher    hat   er     viele     gelesen
       books     has   he     many      read 
        "He has read many books"

(2)   T?i            má    Marie       ?idle.
      three         has    Mary         chairs-acc  
        "Mary has three chairs" 

In normal extraction contexts such as (3), an argument or adjunct of 
the noun (or a part of such an argument/adjunct) is preposed.

(3) who did you see [a picture of _]

It is not too difficult to find languages in which (3) is fine while (1) and 
(2) are not. English is a case in point. 

Are there languages in which (1) or (2) are fine while (3) is not? I find it 
hard to come up with clear examples, and would like to ask the 
community for help.

Gisbert Fanselow 

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

LINGUIST List: Vol-21-4529	


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