[Lingtyp] ***UNCHECKED*** Re: NP + PP construction
haspelmath at shh.mpg.de
Mon Sep 28 09:00:00 UTC 2020
It appears that the specific imperative-hortative meaning of the absence
of the copula in a predlocative construction is a peculiarity of English
(and maybe a few other European languages).
If we ask a question about "any language", we must use comparative
concepts, and clearly, Oceanic languages like Mwotlap and Teanu also
instantiate the type "NP + PP" (as pointed out by Alex François). There
don't seem to be any clear generalizations about this type, though.
But what is the definition of "NP" (as a comparative concept)? That may
also be problematic, as pointed out by Siva Kalyan, because some people
use "DP" as a general term for nominal expressions. Since we cannot say
"*Your hands in the air", one may want to say that the English
construction is "N + PP", but what the exact boundaries of this English
construction are would have to be determined (can personal pronouns be
used? "you-all to the rescue!"?). Eventually, we might want to ask
whether there are other languages with a predlocative construction whose
subject cannot be modified and which lacks a copula.
So this simple case again illustrates that we need to be very clear
about our comparative concepts.
Am 26.09.20 um 02:41 schrieb Siva Kalyan:
> In English, it would be more natural to say "Legs off the table!".
> Likewise "(*Your) hands in the air!". I.e., it is probably useful to
> distinguish N + PP from NP + PP (or rather, NP + PP from DP + PP,
> depending on your framework).
>> On 21 Sep 2020, at 1:51 pm, JOO, Ian [Student]
>> <ian.joo at connect.polyu.hk <mailto:ian.joo at connect.polyu.hk>> wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> I wonder if there has been any literature on the construction where
>> there is no verb, but only an NP and a PP, such as:
>> (1) Superman to the rescue!
>> (2) Your legs off the table!
>> Of course, not only in English, but in any language. I would
>> appreciate your help.
>> From Hong Kong,
>> Lingtyp mailing list
>> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
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Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de)
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
Institut fuer Anglistik
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