[Lingtyp] instant resumption

Marianne Mithun mithun at linguistics.ucsb.edu
Sun Sep 19 17:15:28 UTC 2021

Christian, have you looked at the prosody of the two constructions? I
suspect that when the nominal then the demonstrative are initial it is
doing different discourse work than when it comes late.


On Sun, Sep 19, 2021 at 9:48 AM Randy LaPolla <randy.lapolla at gmail.com>

> PS: the resumptive pronoun in the examples I just sent was later
> reanalyzed as a copula, and is now the copula in Mandarin.
> Randy
> 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
> Tel.: +49/361/2113417
> E-Post: christianw_lehmann at arcor.de
> Web: https://www.christianlehmann.eu
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