[Lingtyp] instant resumption

Randy LaPolla randy.lapolla at gmail.com
Sun Sep 19 16:47:41 UTC 2021

PS: the resumptive pronoun in the examples I just sent was later reanalyzed as a copula, and is now the copula in Mandarin. 


Sent from my phone

> On 19 Sep 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
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