[Lingtyp] Morpheme or X0 "extraction"

Adam James Ross Tallman ajrtallman at utexas.edu
Thu Aug 27 14:35:30 UTC 2020

Thanks everyone,

Yes, exactly. It is not clear what X0 nor what extraction is. I have a
sense actually that when one breaks the argument down into its constituent
chain of reasoning it is, in fact, a covert tautology. The "theory" can be
summarized as follows

1. X0 cannot be extracted (only XP)

2. X0 cannot be coordinated (only XP)

3. We can identify X0s based on some unknown criteria (??)

Bruening actually admits that (1) is (or could be) a matter of
cross-linguistic variation. Furthermore, not all XPs can extract. So the
statement makes no predictions anyways.

When Müller <https://babel.ucsc.edu/~hank/105/EndofLexicalism.pdf>
challenges him on the claim in (1) with the German example, Bruening states
that the fronted *gelungen *is actually a unary branching VP
and we know this because it *can *combine with an adverbial phrase *so gut*.
So something that can combine with some other element is *ipso facto *a
candidate XP. Presumably "inflectional" elements should be excluded because
otherwise the *so gut *argument would be unnecessary (which introduces the
problem of which elements are inflectional or word-formational and which
are not, but nevermind). This is the only  definition of an X0 that I have
been able to distill and it contradicts the only  paper
<https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-9612.00026>  (if you
know others, please send!) on how the notion should be defined that I am
aware of (although perhaps some hints can be distilled from Chomsky 1995
In fact, in other generative lit. X0s can be highly complex combinations as
in the ezafe structure in Persian (see Ghomeshi 1995 cited in Carnie 2000).
There is no explicit statement of how to identify X0 in Bruening, so I
assume it is obvious from other literature, but I'm not having much luck.

Notice, we cannot rely on traditional wordhood diagnostics for identifying
X0, because Bruening tells us that X0 is not a word (he cites your
(Haspelmath 2011) paper on why he thinks words are wrong-headed). Assuming
that X0 is either a single morpheme or else a root+inflection, then I have
to draw the following conclusions

*The problem with the X0-non extractable relation is that all phenomena
that look like they could be X0 extraction would be analyzed away as head
movement or external merge or even be understood as base generated in the
relevant position. *

*The problem for the X0-non coordinability condition is that any candidate
X0 coordinate constructions will be analyzed away as co-compounding or
natural coordination. *

Both these problems seem to render 1 and 2 tautological.

Since the paper was published in our flagship journal and won best paper of
the year, I feel I must be missing something here. Please help.



On Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 6:57 PM Martin Haspelmath <haspelmath at shh.mpg.de>

> 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.
> Martin
> 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
> <https://babel.ucsc.edu/~hank/105/Bruening_2018.pdf>'s claim that X0
> elements cannot be extracted.
> Adam
> 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.
>> *tsaya=yama=kɨ*
>> see=neg=dec:past
>> *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.
>> best,
>> Adam
>> --
>> 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)
> _______________________________________________
> Lingtyp mailing listLingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.orghttp://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp
> --
> Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de)
> Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
> Deutscher Platz 6
> D-04103 Leipzig
> &
> Leipzig University
> Institut fuer Anglistik
> IPF 141199
> D-04081 Leipzig
> _______________________________________________
> Lingtyp mailing list
> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp

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)
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20200827/77f4eb2e/attachment.htm>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list