[Lingtyp] Query re anaphoric object pronouns

David Gil gil at shh.mpg.de
Mon Dec 16 20:38:52 UTC 2019

Dear all,

Just a footnote on Eitan's comment on Hebrew:

> As for Hebrew, I think that David is mostly right, with Alex's proviso 
> about animacy. So null expression of animate objects seems mostly 
> awkward, but fine with a lot of inanimate objects. In the (b) sentence 
> below, null expression varies with overt expression.
> (a) kaniti lɛxɛm
>      I.bought bread
>      'I bought bread'
> (b) sim (oto) al-ha-ʃulχan
>      put.IMP (it) on-DEF-table
>    'Put (it) on the table.'
> But even with animates there can be null expression. Edit Doron wrote 
> about this some time ago, giving examples like the equivalent of "Did 
> you send the kids to school? I sent."

I agree with Eitan on (a) and (b) above.  However, the latter ("I sent") 
example seems to instantiate a somewhat different construction, specific 
to responses to polar questions.  English, in the same context, also has 
"(Yes) I did", but you wouldn't want to characterize this as an instance 
of the kind of zero object that Martin is after.  My feeling is that the 
same is true for Hebrew, except that Hebrew doesn't have an auxiliary 
with "do", and hence you repeat the entire verb.


David Gil

Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany

Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
Office Phone (Germany): +49-3641686834
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81281162816
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