[Lingtyp] instant resumption

Randy LaPolla randy.lapolla at gmail.com
Sun Sep 19 16:19:47 UTC 2021

Hi Christian,
This sounds similar to a construction found in some Old Chinese texts.
There were actually two versions, where one might talk about a fronted
patient that then is followed by what we usually just call a resumptive
pronoun, and where there has clearly been no so-called movement, but again
the full reference is followed by a resumptive pronoun. This is understood
to be a sort of contrastive focus. e.g.

知之為知之,不知為不知,是知也 《為政》17
zhī zhī wéi zhī zhī, bù zhī wéi bù zhī, shì zhì yě
know this be know this not know be not know THIS knowledge ASSERTIVE
(rough translation): knowing you know this and knowing you don't know this,
THIS is knowledge. (Confucian Analects, Wei Zheng, line 17)

余必臣是助 《昭公二十二年》
yú   bì      chén      shì    zhù
1sg must minister THIS help
I will certainly help my ministers/subjects. (Zuo Zhuan, Zhao Gong year 22,
line 2)

All the best,
Professor Randy J. LaPolla(罗仁地), PhD FAHA
Center for Language Sciences
Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences
Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai Campus
A302, Muduo Building, #18 Jinfeng Road, Zhuhai City, China


On Sun, Sep 19, 2021 at 10:59 PM Christian Lehmann <
christian.lehmann at uni-erfurt.de> wrote:

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