Fwd: coordination

hartmut at RUC.DK hartmut at RUC.DK
Fri Sep 23 06:49:06 UTC 2005

I'm trying to understand the question.

If I remember the original discussion of gapping far back in the last century
correctly, the possibilities in the directionality of gapping were strongly
tied to SOV/SVO considerations; it was even discussed if one could decide the
notorious issue whether German is ("underlying") SOV or SVO with reference to
gapping directionality.

On the face of it, the idea that forward gapping is possible in SVO languages
but not in SOV languages is plausible (statistically), and makes sense (which
would provide an explanation).

But Basque and Yoruba seem to be counterexamples.

Basque is SOV and allows for forward gapping, Yoruba is SVO and does not allow
forward gapping.

Hence, a different hypothesis is needed. Here comes the new idea: forward
gapping is only allowed in languages that have a "unified" coordinator.

If a strong correlation can be shown, this would be extremely interesting. Among
other reasons, because it would release os from the necessity to classify all
languages into permutations of S, V, and O. (My favorite example is Modern
Greek: usually considered SVO, while the statistically most frequentt word
order is V(S)O. - (S) because of pro-drop. - But Greek has a unified
coordinator kai, so it ought allow for forward gapping.)

But a statistical correlation and an explanation are two quite different things.
Can we say that the new hypothesis makes sense? And in which way?

It could actually be that unified coordination and forward gapping are only
indirectly related, because their cooccurrence is dependent on a third factor,
not discussed so far.

I would therefore be cautious with formulations like "therefore forward gapping
is disallowed", if "therefore" is meant to refer to some explanatory link
("accordingly" might be safer to write).

Hartmut Haberland

Citat "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>:

> Begin forwarded message:
> > From: ana carrera <gappingucl at yahoo.co.uk>
> > Date: September 22, 2005 2:41:28 PM PDT
> > To: "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at csli.stanford.edu>
> > Subject: Re: coordination
> >
> > Dear all,
> > A few days ago prof. Zwicky sent a query on my behalf. From the
> > responses which I have received it is possible that the query was
> > ambiguous and therefore I would like to repost my query and I hope
> > I have expressed myself more clearly this time.
> >
> > I am dealing with forward gapping in SOV, VSO and SOV languages as
> > part of my dissertation. By forward gapping I understand the
> > deletion of the verb in the second conjunct:
> >
> > (1)  I study gapping and you  VP-ellipsis.
> >
> > My research so far predicts that forward gapping is only possible
> > in those languages which use one and the same coordinator for all
> > the categories they conjoin, independently of whether they have the
> > unmarked order SVO, SOV or VSO. For instance, in English (SVO) the
> > coordinator "and" is used to conjoin NPs, Clauses, PPs, etc and
> > forward gapping is possible. In Basque (SOV) the coordinator is
> > "eta" both for NPs and clauses and therefore forward gapping is
> > also possible.
> >
> > On the contrary, Yoruba (SVO) has a different coordinator for NPs
> > (àti) and for clauses (sì) and therefore forward gapping is
> > disallowed. The same is true in Japanese or Korean (SOV) which also
> > show different coordinators for NPs and clauses and thus disallow
> > forward gapping.
> >
> > My hypothesis is that coordinators which select for what they
> > conjoin block the possibility of forward gapping.
> >
> > I would be very grateful if you could provide me with more data
> > which confirm or disconfirm my results so far.

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