[Lingtyp] instant resumption
christian.lehmann at uni-erfurt.de
Sun Sep 19 14:58:52 UTC 2021
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
* 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
* 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.
Prof. em. Dr. Christian Lehmann
E-Post: christianw_lehmann at arcor.de
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