[Lingtyp] instant resumption

Christian Lehmann christian.lehmann at uni-erfurt.de
Sun Sep 19 14:58:52 UTC 2021

Dear colleagues,

while working on Cabecar grammar, I have been struggling with a 
phenomenon which I do not recall having seen treated in the literature 
and which I have dubbed instant resumption. It is a kind of intraclausal 
anaphora involving an NP as antecedent and a demonstrative pronoun as 
anaphor. A variant of this has been well-known as left-dislocation. In 
Cabecar, however, the construction has these properties:

  * It does not necessarily involve left-dislocation. The antecedent NP
    may be anywhere inside the clause, even at its end.
  * The resumptive pronoun (the medial demonstrative, glossed D.MED
    below) may, in principle, come later in the clause. However, in 96%
    of the cases, it follows the antecedent immediately. It does this
    even at the end of the clause. I therefore assume that, at the
    structural level, this is (putting it in grammaticalizational terms)
    no longer anaphora, but apposition.
  * The phenomenon is completely independent of the internal
    constituency of the antecedent; this may be a nominalized clause, a
    determined NP or even a pronoun. And it is independent of the
    syntactic function of the resumptive - or the entire appositional NP
    - in its clause; it may be just any function available to an NP.
  * Instant resumption is always optional, although preferred in many cases.

Here are two examples; the antecedent is bracketed:

E1.    Rogelio    jé            m-á̱=ká̱=ju̱ bulía.
          [Rogelio]   D.MED    go-PROG=ASC=AM    tomorrow
          ‘Rogelio(, he) will climb tomorrow.’
E2.  jé            rä        sä        yu-ä           kië́ Pedro   jé= i̠a̠.
         D.MED   COP   [1.PL    form-NR   name   Peter]   D.MED=DAT
         ‘that is for the professor named Peter.’

Unless you have seen this kind of construction before, you may think 
that my analysis is mistaken and the demonstrative is simply a 
postnominal determiner. Be assured that it is not. The language has 
prenominal determiners. And as said before, there are 4% of distant 
resumption which would not be possible if the thing were a determiner.

Certain phenomena I have seen in other languages come to mind:

  * In Dagbani, the relative clause (described by Wilson 1963 and 1975)
    is followed by a particle /la/ which Wilson does not categorize but
    which looks like a demonstrative.
  * In Wappo, the relative clause (described by Li & Thompson 1978) is
    followed by a demonstrative /ce/, which at that time I thought was a
    postnominal determiner.
  * In some Australian language which I do not recall, the case suffixes
    on nouns look like pronouns provided with the same case suffixes.
    Compare with this E2 above.

Here are my questions to you:

  * Have you seen instant resumption in other languages?
  * Is there an established concept and term for the phenomenon which I
    have overlooked?
  * Is it a grammaticalized form of left-dislocation, as it appears to
    me, or is there some other base for it?
  * How should we conceive its function at the grammaticalized stage? To
    me, it seems that it no longer has any cognitive or communicative
    function, but a mere structural function (if I may say so), viz.
    identifying a nominal expression as such by summing it up, and thus
    demarcating it against the rest of the clause at least in
    configurations as E1.

I would be grateful for any help.
Best, Christian

Prof. em. Dr. Christian Lehmann
Rudolfstr. 4
99092 Erfurt

Tel.: 	+49/361/2113417
E-Post: 	christianw_lehmann at arcor.de
Web: 	https://www.christianlehmann.eu

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