[Lingtyp] instant resumption

Dryer, Matthew dryer at buffalo.edu
Mon Sep 20 03:48:39 UTC 2021


I think the phenomenon you refer to of languages where relative clauses are followed by demonstratives is unrelated to the phenomenon you are asking about. I have found many languages where demonstratives either obligatorily or optionally occur at the end of postnominal relative clauses. Even in those languages where it is optional, it is a distinct use of the demonstrative since it is neither exophoric nor anaphoric.

We actually have something vaguely similar in English, as in

Those people who have not been double vaccinated should be .....

This use of those in English is distinct from other uses in that it is neither anaphoric or exophoric and only occurs as far as I know in noun phrases containing relative clauses.


From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Christian Lehmann <christian.lehmann at uni-erfurt.de>
Date: Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 11:59 AM
Subject: [Lingtyp] instant resumption

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



christianw_lehmann at arcor.de<mailto:christianw_lehmann at arcor.de>



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