[Lingtyp] Morpheme or X0 "extraction"

fcosw5 fcosw5 at scu.edu.tw
Thu Aug 27 06:25:48 UTC 2020

Right.  This German example looks a lot like the Sanskrit examples that I looked at in my dissertation 30 years ago, on 'Free Word-Order Syntax'.  Obviously, German isn't as 'free' in this regard as Sanskrit, Latin, or the other early IE languages, but there's no question that this kind of thing occurs in human language.
Is this 'X0 extraction'?  In mine analysis of the Sanskrit data, I felt it was better to adopt a preliminary assumption that intervening phrasal nodes might simply be 'erased' and the words making up the phrase could be freely 'scattered' about the clause.  Trying to account for the Sanskrit data in terms of 'extraction' of individual words just muddies the waters.  But I'm pretty sure that's not true for German.

-----Original message-----
From:Martin Haspelmath<haspelmath at shh.mpg.de>
To:lingtyp<lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2020 00:57:36
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Morpheme or X0 "extraction"
But what is an "X0" element? We'd have to know this in order to test Bruening's claim. Note that German "gelungen" is not a single morph (or "morpheme"). It is a complex form "ge-lung-en".

There does not seem to be a clear comparative concept "phrase" (vs. "non-phrasal element") that one could apply in the same way to all languages.

Moreover, what exactly is "extraction"? It is fairly clear when we talk about question-word fronting (or relative-pronoun fronting), but "topic-fronting" occurs in a wide variety of ways.

So it seems that, as so often, we need better definitions of concepts before we can rigorously test universal claims.


Am 26.08.20 um 14:42 schrieb Adam James Ross Tallman:

Hey all,

Just to clarify, I'm asking because I'm wondering how frequent apparent counter examples are to Bruening's claim that X0 elements cannot be extracted.


On Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 1:49 PM Adam James Ross Tallman <ajrtallman at utexas.edu> wrote:

Hello all,

I am wondering if anyone has found examples where single morphemes can extract to first position. It is well-known that German can do this as in 

Gelungen ist hier selten wem was auf anhieb
succeeded is here rarely somebody.DAT something.NOM on first.attempt
'that it was rarely the case that somebody succeeded in doing something here on the first attempt'

For some reason the full VP cannot extract (*Wem gelunden ist hier selten was auf anhieb). You can modify the fronted verb with an adverb so gut and apparently its grammatical (Bruening 2018)

In Chácobo one can "extract" individual adverbial elements, but as far as I can tell only one of these elements can be "extracted" at a time.

yama tsaya=kɨ
neg   see=dec:past

's/he didn't see it.'

I wonder if there are cases like Chacobo or like German except where the verb cannot be modified by some element that is also fronted. Just instances of apparently non-phrasal (word, root or stem) extraction would also be interesting.

p.s. I don't exactly know what extraction means all the time. In particular I'm not sure on what basis we can always assume that one sentence is derived from the other. For instance, in Chacobo I don't know on what basis I would assume that the verb is not in fact undergoing rightward extraction.



Adam J.R. Tallman
PhD, University of Texas at Austin
Investigador del Museo de Etnografía y Folklore, la Paz
ELDP -- Postdoctorante
CNRS -- Dynamique Du Langage (UMR 5596)

Adam J.R. Tallman
PhD, University of Texas at Austin
Investigador del Museo de Etnografía y Folklore, la Paz
ELDP -- Postdoctorante
CNRS -- Dynamique Du Langage (UMR 5596)

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