[Lingtyp] Discourse connectives that do not occur at clause edges

Daniel Ross djross3 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 9 07:12:57 UTC 2021

Dear Ponrawee,

What you're describing sounds like what has sometimes been called a
'Wackernagel clitic', which always appears in second position in a clause,
and sometimes includes conjunctions. Hittite is the example that comes to
mind immediately, but there are others out there. This position is
relatively infrequent cross-linguistically for conjunctions, but not
extremely rare or unique to any one region. (My research focuses on the
basic coordinator 'and', so I'm not certain about more semantically
specific conjunctions or linking adverbs, so it's possible they might be
more common in that position.)

As far as I know, this is the only other common position for conjunctions,
aside from clause-initially and clause-finally. I don't know of a
second-to-last/penultimate position in clauses, and similarly not of any
other arbitrary position. There may be some linking elements that appear
for example adjacent to the verb (and perhaps the verb's position is
flexible), but no languages like that come to mind at the moment. (The
closest example that I can think of would be so-called "sequential" forms
in some Australian languages, which are morphologically part of the verb,
which if I'm remembering correctly does not necessarily occur
clause-finally, so therefore the SEQ marker, along with the verb, would
appear somewhere clause-medially. Whether we consider that to be a kind of
conjunction or a TAM marker seems dependent on the analysis we choose.)


On Mon, Aug 9, 2021 at 12:02 AM Ponrawee Prasertsom <ponrawee.pra at gmail.com>

> Dear all,
> Does anyone know of language(s) with a discourse connective (roughly
> defined as any word that relates two event arguments expressed as clauses)
> that
> 1. Has a dedicated (fixed) position in the clause
> 2. Does NOT occur clause-initial or -finally
> The example I have in mind is Thai /kɔ̂ɔ/ and Lao /kaø/, which always
> occur after the subject. I'm also wondering how much this is specific to
> Southwestern Tai (or Kra-Dai more generally).
> I appreciate every help. Thank you all in advance.
> Best regards,
> --
> Ponrawee Prasertsom
> Graduate student
> Department of Linguistics
> Chulalongkorn University
> --
> Ponrawee Prasertsom
> Postgraduate student
> MSc Evolution of Language and Cognition
> Centre for Language Evolution
> School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
> University of Edinburgh
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