query about "he painted the barn red" (fwd)

bingfu bingfu at USC.EDU
Sun Apr 26 21:43:07 UTC 1998

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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