[Lingtyp] instant resumption

David Gil gil at shh.mpg.de
Sun Sep 19 18:04:19 UTC 2021

Dear Christian et al,

A similar phenomenon involving pronouns rather than demonstratives 
occurs in a number of languages of New Guinea, generally along the north 
coast.I once started a typological study of the phenomenon but aborted 
it after getting bogged down in definitional issues.Anyway, here are 
some references for particular languages:

Mauwake (Madang, TNG):

Järvinen, Liisa (1991) “The Pronoun System of Mauwake”, in T. Dutton 
ed., /Papers in Papuan Linguistics/ 1, Pacific Linguistics A - 73, 
Canberra, 57-95.(see p. 65)

Dumo (Western Skou):

Ross, Malcolm (1980) “Some Elements of Vanimo, A New Guinea Tone 
Language”, in M. Boxwell et al eds., /Papers in New Guinea Linguistics/ 
20, Pacific Linguistics A - 56, Canberra, 77-109.(seepp. 85-6)

Roon (South Halmahera West New Guinea, Austronesian)

own field work

Papuan Malay (Austronesian):

Donohue, Mark and Yusuf Sawaki (2007) "Papuan Malay Pronominals: Forms 
and Functions", /Oceanic Linguistics/ 47:253-276.

Gil, David (to appear) "Number in Indonesian", in P. Acquaviva and M. 
Daniel eds., /Number in the World's Languages/, De Gruyter, Berlin.


On 19/09/2021 17:58, Christian Lehmann 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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David Gil

Senior Scientist (Associate)
Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6, Leipzig, 04103, Germany

Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
Mobile Phone (Israel): +972-526117713
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81344082091

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