Hindi and Gujarati discontinuous NPs

Bob Eaton pete_dembrowski at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 25 13:32:57 UTC 2008


> Did you ever find someone who accepted the construction outside of this > story context? 
 
Yes, but again usually only with oral materials. One work involved a narration track and in that they didn't mind such marked constructions, because it was someone speaking it. Also, even in written materials, we used it several times in speech quotes within the narrative. So if a character in a written story says it in a dialog, they had no problem with it.
 
> And did you ever happen to see some intervening material > between the possessive and its phrase?
sorry for shouting (with caps), but *ALL THE TIME*! 
 
And *that* works just fine in written materials (I'm actually writing a paper on this myself :-) But by way of teasers, here are a few examples (Kangri):
 
इस बास्‍ते इह़नां गल्‍लां दा भ़ी तुसां जो बड़ा ध़्‍यान रखणा पौणा है।
is baste {ihnaa.n gallaa.n daa} bhii {tusaa.n jo} {baRaa dhyaan} rakhNaa pauNaa hai.
this reason these things GEN also you DAT great attention keep-INF-ms FORCE-INF-ms PRES-sg
'For this reason, you must pay CLOSE ATTENTION to these things.'
 
In this example, the "of these things" phrase is a genitive possessive phrase whose head noun is the later 'attention'. Notice that the dative subject 'you DAT' (as well as an the additive 'also') intervene between that possessive phrase and its head noun (or more likely, the possessive phrase was preponed before the subject). The pragmatic effect of this movement is to give prominence to the head and its degree modifier 'close attention' (as shown by caps in the free translation), which remained in-situ.
 
इक्‍की ग्रांए दी दूए ग्रांए कन्‍नैं दुसमणी थी।
ik-kii graa.ne dii duuee graa.ne kannai.n dusmaNii th-ii
one-obl village GEN other village with emnity PAST-ms
'There was EMNITY between one village and another.'
 
Here again, the initial 'one village GEN' is the genitive possessive phrase of the head noun 'emnity' (as can be seen by the feminine agreement on the GEN), but the entire 'object' phrase (with (an)other village) intervenes between the possessive phrase and the head noun. Again, the function seems to be to give prominence to the head noun 'emnity'.
 
Bob
 
 
 
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