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Linguistic typology and language universals

Course script PART I - Holger Diessel

Languages of the world

Linguistic typology and language universals Course script PART I - Holger Diessel Languages of the world
Linguistic typology and language universals Course script PART I - Holger Diessel Languages of the world

1

2
2
2

2

Number of speakers

Mandarin

907

English

456

Hindi

383

Spanish

362

Russian

293

Arabic

208

Bengali

189

Portuguese

177

Indonesian

148

Japanese

126

French

123

German

119

(Whaley 1997:139

Language sampling

Table 1. Percentage of basic constituent orders

Order

Greenberg (1966)

Tomlin (1986)

SVO

43%

42%

SOV

37%

45%

VSO

20%

9%

VOS

0%

3%

OVS

0%

1%

OSV

0%

0%

Convenient language sample

 

Proportional language sample.

3

Types of universals

1. Absolute universals vs. statistical universals

a. All languages have vowels and consonants.

b. Most languages place the subject before the object.

2. Implicational universals

(1)

Peter saw himself (in the mirror).

(2)

Peter saw him (in the mirror).

If a language has reflexive pronouns for first and second person, it also has reflexive pronouns for third person.

Table 2. The crosslinguistic distribution of reflexives

 

all persons

3. only person

reflexive

x

x

non-reflexive

x

 

There are languages that have reflexive pronouns for all persons.

There are languages that do not have reflexive pronouns at all.

There are languages that employ reflexive pronouns only for 3. person.

There is no language that employs reflexive pronouns except for 3. person.

English

me

myself

you

yourself

him/her/it

himself/herself/itself

German

mich

mich

dich

dich

ihm/ihr/es

sich

Old English

mē

Þē

þē

hine/hiē/hit

hine/hiē/hit

4

3.

Universal hierarchies

a. SUBJ > OBJ > OBL > GEN

b. white/black > red > green/yellow > blue > brown

4. Semantic maps any- English questions indirect direct negation negation no specific specific irrealis known
4. Semantic maps
any-
English
questions
indirect
direct
negation
negation
no
specific
specific
irrealis
known
unknown
non-specific
conditional
comparative
free choice
some

(1)

I saw somebody/*anybody.

specific unknown

(2)

Did you see somebody/anybody.

question

(3)

I didn’t see *somebody/anybody.

indirect negation

(4)

*Somebody/anybody can win.

free choice

-MO

Japanese questions indirect direct KA negation negation specific Specific irrealis known unknown non-specific
Japanese
questions
indirect
direct
KA
negation
negation
specific
Specific
irrealis
known
unknown
non-specific
conditional
comparative
free choice
-DEMO

5

Explaining linguistic universals

1.

Innateness The argument from the poverty of the stimulus (Chomsky)

2.

Discourse

 

(1)

The police officer saw the woman i . He probably knew her i but …

(2)

The police officer saw her i . He probably knew the woman i but …

3.

Sentence processing

(1)

The man who Peter who was tired saw was sick.

4. Economy

(1)

lexical word > grammatical word > affix > zero

5. Iconicity

(1)

a. We went home before Mary left.

b.

Before Mary left we went home.

(2)

a. We went home after Mary left.

b. After Mary left we went home.

Competing motivations

 

Iconic

Non-iconic

MAIN-SUB

x, before y after x, y

y, after x before y, x

SUB-MAIN

6

Grammatical categories

Parts-of-speech (lexical categories)

Nouns (N)

Verbs (V)

Adjectives (ADJ)

Adverbs (ADV)

Pronouns (PRO)

Determiner (DET)

Preposition (P)

Conjunction (COMP)

Auxiliaries (AUX)

Grammatical relations

Subject

Direct object

Indirect object

Adverbials

Thematic roles

Agent

Patent

Theme

Experiencer

Beneficary

Instrument

Location

Recipient

Phrasal categories

Noun phrases (NP)

Verb phrase (VP)

Prepositional phrase (PP)

Clause/sentence (S)

Head––complement––adjunct

Head

Complement

Adjunct

7

Morphological categories of the noun

Lindsay J. Whaley. 1997. Introduction to Linguistic Typology. The Unity and Diversity of Language, chap 4. Thousands Oaks:

Sage Publications

Number

Tümpisa Shoshone (Uto-Aztecan)

(1)

kapaayu-Ø

(2)

horse-SG ‘the/a horse’ kapaayu-angku

(3)

horse-DU ‘(two) horses’ kapaayu-ammü horse-PL ‘(more than two) horses’

Hawaiian (Austronesian)

(1)

‘elau a‘l

mau

i‘a

two

may ‘my two fish’

PL

fish

Case

Luiseno (Uto-Aztecan)

(1)

kasila-y

?áşwut

eagle lizard-OBJ see-SG ‘The eagle sees the lizard.’

toow-q

8

Mojave (Yuman)

(1)

hatčq-č

dog-SUBJ cat chase-PRS/PST ‘The dog chased the cat.’

poč

taver-m

Latin (IE)

(1)

equ-us

Horse-NOM king-ACC see.PERF.3SG

‘The horse saw the king.’

reg-em

vīd

suffixes

Japanese

 

words

(1)

John

ga

Mary

o

but-ta

John

SUBJ

Mary

OBJ

hit-PST

‘John hit Mary.’

 

English

 

clitics

(1)

I saw the Queen’s crown.

(2)

I saw the Queen of England’s crown.

Kanuri (Nilotic)

 

clitics

(1)

kâm-ga

rúskena

man-OBJ

I.saw

(2)

‘I saw the man.’ [kâm kúrà]-ga

rúskena

 

man

big-OBJ

I.saw

 

‘I saw the big man.’

(3)

[fátô

[kâm

kúrà]ve]-ga

rúskena

Compound man big-GEN-OBJ I.saw ‘I saw the big man’s compound.’

9

Direct and indirect object

Latin (IE)

(1)

puell-ae

pecūni-am

da-t

girl-DAT money-ACC ‘He gives money to the girl.’

give-3S

Locative case markers

 
 

allative

motion to

 

illative

absence of motion

ablative

motion away from

Quechua

 

(1)

Utavalu-li

kawasa-ni

 

Otavalo-in

live-1

 

(2)

‘I live in Otavalo.’ Utavalo-mando

shamu-ni

Otavalo-from

come-1

‘I come from Otavalo.’

 

(3)

wasi

ladu-pi

house

near-at

‘near the house’

 

Instrumental case

Yareba (Papua New Guinea)

 

(1)

dana boro

auri-ma

yanai

he

pig

spear-INST

spear.3S

‘He killed the pig with a spear.’

Genitive case

(1)

Jena’s mayor

(2)

The mayor of Jena

Possessive affixes

Masalit (Nilotic)

(1)

leri-mbe

donkey-1SG

(2)

‘my donkey’ leri-na

donkey-2SG

(3)

‘your donkey’ leri-ta

donkey-3SG

‘his/her donkey’

Table 1. Alienable and inalienable possession in Cree

Alienable possession

Inalienable possession

+possessor

-possessor

+possessor

-possessor

ni-mōhkomān

mōhkomān

ni-skīsik

mi-skīsik (*skīsik) non.POSS-eye an eye

1SG-knife

knife

1SG-eye

my knife

a knife

my eye

Gender / Noun Class

(1)

Der Mann

(2)

Die Frau

(3)

Das Mädchen

11

Dyirbal (Pama-Nyungan)

(1)

a. bayi

yara

b.

bayi

yamani

MASC

man

MASC

rainbow

‘the/a man’

 

‘the/a rainbow’

(2)

balan

dugumbil

FEM

woman

‘the/a woman’

 

(3)

balam

miran

PLANT

black.bean

‘black bean’

(4)

bala

dawun

INAN

dilly bag

‘the/a dilly bag’

Mandarin (Sinitic)

(1)

sān-ge

rén

Three-CLASS

person

‘three people’

(2)

zhèi-zhǎn

dēng

This-CLASS

lamp

‘this lamp’

(3)

zhèi-ge

yǐzi

This-CLASS

chair

‘this chair’

(4)

nèi-tiáo

niú

That-CLASS

cow

‘that cow’

12

Definiteness

Swedish

(1)

hus-et

house-DEF

‘the house’

(2)

hus-en

house-INDEF

‘a house’

The noun phrase

NP N PP N NP N N DET ADJ N N P DET A N
NP
N
PP
N
NP
N
N
DET
ADJ
N
N
P
DET
A
N
The
young
man’s dream of
a
good
life

Wardaman (Pama-Nyungan)

(1)

dang-nyi

Yonder-ERG 3SG:3NON.SG-hit-PST man-ERG

óThat man hit them.’

wunggun-bu-ndi

yibiyan-yi

Das geistig Zusammengehòrende steht beieinander. [Behagel 1923-32]

13

Personal pronouns

Pronouns

1. person

2. person

3. person

I

you

he

she

it

me

you

him

her

it

we

you

 

they

(1)

The man saw the woman. He/she saw him/her.

 

Finnish (Uralic)

(1)

laul-an

I sing

laula-t

You sing

laula-vi

He sings

laula-mme

We wing

laula-tte

You sing

laula-vat

They sing

Swahili (Niger-Congo)

(1)

a-li-ni-piga

3SG.SUBJ-PST-1SG.OBJ-hit

‘He/she hit me.’

(2)

u-ta-ni-penda

You will like me

a-ta-ni-penda

He will like me

a-ta-ku-penda

He will like you

a-ta-m-penda

He will like him

14

a-ta-ku-penda

I will like you

a-ta-m-penda

I will like him

u-ta-m-penda

You will like him

Possessive pronouns

Possessive pronouns

Possessive determiners

my

mine

your

yours

his

his

her

hers

its

its

Relative pronouns

(1)

The man who(m) I saw.

(2)

The bike that I bought.

Indefinite pronouns

Universal

Pronoun

Determiner

Positive

everyone

every/each

everybody

everything

all

all

both

both

Negative

no one

none/no

nobody

nothing

none

15

 

Partitive

   

Pronoun

   

Determiner

 
 

Assertive

   

someone

 

some

   

somebody

 
 

something

 

some

 
 

Nonassertive

   

anyone

   

any/either

   

anybody

   
 

anything

 

none

 

Interrogative pronouns

 

(1)

What did you talk about

in class?

 

Mandarin (Sinitic)

 

(1)

wǒ qĭng shéi

chī

fan

I

invite whom

eat

food

‘Whom did I invite to eat.’

 

Demonstrative pronouns

 

English

 

Japanese

 

Proximal

 

Distal

 

Near S

Near H

Distant

this

 

that

 

sono

kono

ano

16

The relationship between demonstratives and interrogatives

Diessel, Holger. 2003. The relationship between demonstratives and interrogatives. Studies in Language.

Demonstrative

Interrogative

Pronouns

Pronouns

Demonstrative Interrogative Pronouns Pronouns Third Person PRO Possessive PRO Relative PRO Indefinite PRO
Demonstrative Interrogative Pronouns Pronouns Third Person PRO Possessive PRO Relative PRO Indefinite PRO

Third Person PRO

Possessive PRO

Relative PRO

Indefinite PRO

(1)

(2) celui-ci/là (3) denhär/dendär

der da

Syntactic properties

Table 1. English

DEMONSTRATIVE

INTERROGATIVE

PRONOUN

this / that

who, what

NOUN MODIFIER

this / that

which

ADVERB

here / there

where, when, why, how

17

Table 2. French

DEMONSTRATIVE INTERROGATIVE

PRONOUN

celui / celle

qui / que

NOUN MODIFIER

ce / cette

quel / quelle

ADVERB

ice, là

où, quand, pourquoi, comment

Semantic features

Table 3. DEM and WH in English

 

Demonstratives

Interrogatives

Person

that (one) that (one) there thither thence then thus (that way)

who

Thing

what

Place

where

Direction:to

whither

Direction:from

whence

Time

when

Manner

how

Table 4. DEM and WH in Punjabi (Bhatia 1993: 233)

 

Demonstratives

Interrogatives

Person

é

kauN

Thing

é

kii

Place

étthe

kítthe

Direction

éddar

kíddar

Time

huN

kad

Manner

évë

kívë

Amount

énnaa

kínnaa

Table 5. DEM and WH in Lezgian (Haspelmath 1993: 188)

 

Demonstratives

Interrogatives

Person/Thing

im

him / wuz&

Place

inag

hinag

Place:at

ina

hina

Place:on

inal

hinal

Place:in

inra

hinra

Direction:to

iniz

hiniz

Direction:from

inaj

hinaj

Manner

ik’

hik’(a)

Amount

iq’wan

hiq’wan

Quality

ixfltin

hixfltin

Table 6. DEM and WH in Japanese (Hinds 1986: 266, 270)

 

Demonstratives

Interrogatives

Person

––

dare

Thing

kore

dore

Place

koko

doko

Direction

kochira

dochira

Manner

koo

doo

Amount

konna ni

donna ni

19

Table 7. DEM and WH in Malayalam (Asher and Kumari 1997:268)

 

Demonstratives

Interrogatives

Person

ii

evan / aar´

Thing

ii

ent

Place

iviTe

eviTe

Direction:to

inn

enn

Time

ippooÒ

eppooÒ

Manner

iÎÎine

eÎÎine

Amount

itra

etra

Interrogatives tend to distinguish between human (who) and nonhuman (what) referents.

Demonstratives are deictic, i.e. they distinguish between proximal and distal forms.

Phonetic features

Demonstratives and interrogatives share two phonetic features:

In some languages, they all begin with the same formative

They are generally stressed.

Explanation

The semantic similarities between demonstratives and interrogatives are motivated by similar pragmatic functions. Both types of expressions are directives. They function to draw the hearer’s attention on entities that previously were not activated or in focus.

20

Verbal categories

Lindsay J. Whaley. 1997. Introduction to Linguistic Typology. The Unity and Diversity of Language, chap 4. Thousands Oaks: Sage Publications

Morphological categories of the verb

Verb classes:

1. intransitive verbs

2. transitive verbs

3. ditransitive verbs

Inflectional categories:

1. tense

2. aspect

3. mood

Tense

Absolute tense Peter is working Peter was working Peter has been working Peter will be working

Present Past Present Perfect Future 1

Relative tense Peter had been working (before he went to bed)

Past Perfect

Peter will have finished work (when you come)

Future 2

21

1. Tense affixes

Latin (IE)

voc-ō

‘I call / I am calling’

PRESENT

voc-ābam

‘I was calling / I used to call’

PAST

voc-ābō

‘I will call’

FUTURE

voc-āvi

‘I called / I have called’

PERFECT

voc-āveram

‘I had called’

PAST PERFECT

voc-āverō

‘I will have called’

FUTURE PERFECT

2. Tense auxiliaries I will go You will go He will go

Aspect

(1)

I have gotten a letter from Sue.

Present perfect

(2)

I was working.

Progressive

Perfective

Imperfective

I have gotten a letter from Sue. Present perfect (2) I was working. Progressive Perfective Imperfective
I have gotten a letter from Sue. Present perfect (2) I was working. Progressive Perfective Imperfective
I have gotten a letter from Sue. Present perfect (2) I was working. Progressive Perfective Imperfective
I have gotten a letter from Sue. Present perfect (2) I was working. Progressive Perfective Imperfective

22

Aktionsart / lexical aspect

Aktionsart / lexical aspect [-dynamic] states [+dynamic] [-telic] [+te ic] [-durative] [+durative] [-durative]

[-dynamic]

states

[+dynamic] [-telic] [+te ic]
[+dynamic]
[-telic]
[+te
ic]
aspect [-dynamic] states [+dynamic] [-telic] [+te ic] [-durative] [+durative] [-durative] [+durative]
aspect [-dynamic] states [+dynamic] [-telic] [+te ic] [-durative] [+durative] [-durative] [+durative]

[-durative]

[+durative]

[-durative]

[+durative]

semelfactives

activities

achievements

accomplishments

activities achievements accomplishments (1) She hated ice cream. (State) (2) The gate

(1)

She hated ice cream.

(State)

(2)

The gate banged.

(Semelfactive)

(3)

Your cat watched those birds.

(Activity)

(4)

The cease-fire began at noon yesterday.

(Achievement)

(5)

Her boss learned Japanese.

(Accomplishment)

Mood

Subjunctive

German

(1)

Er kommt zur Party.

(2)

Er sagt er komme (käme) zur Party.

(3)

Wenn er zur Party käme, …

23

English

(1)

I insist that we reconsider the Council’s decision.

(2)

The employees demand that he resign.

(3)

I suggest that you be President.

(4)

If she were leaving you would have heard about it.

(5)

I wish I were you.

(1)

Peter must go.

deontic

(2)

That must be right.

epistemic

Imperative

(1)

Give me the key.

(2)

Gib mir den Schlüssel.

(3)

Geben Sie mir den Schlüssel.

Hortative

(1)

Let’s go to the movies.

Interrogative Japanese has interrogative mood expressed by sentence particles.

Japanese

(1)

Kore wa

hon

desu

yo

This

TOP

book is

DECL

CThis is a book.’

 

(2)

Kore wa

hon

desu

ka

This

TOP

book

is

Q

‘Is this a book?’

24

Other categories of the verb

Swahili (Niger-Congo)

PERSON

(1)

a-li-ni-piga

3SG.SUBJ-PST-1SG.OBJ-hit

‘He/she hit me.’

English (IE)

PASSIVE

(1)

Peter kicked the ball.

(2)

The ball was kicked (by Peter).

Turkish (Turkic)

CAUSATIVE

(1)

Hasan

òl-dü.

Hasan

die-PST

 

‘Hasan died.’

 

(2)

Ali

Hasan

òl-dür-dü.

Ali

Hsan

die-CAUSE-PST

‘Ali killed Hasan.’

 

Maasai (Nilo-Saharan)

NEGATION

(1)

m-a-rany

NEG-1S-sing

‘I do not sing.’

German (IE)

DIRECTION

(1)

hin-/her-bringen

hin-/her-stellen

hin-/her-laufen

hin-/her-legen

hin-/her-schwimmen

25

Morphological typology

Lindsay J. Whaley. 1997. Introduction to Linguistic Typology. The Unity and Diversity of Language, chap 8. Thousands Oaks: Sage Publications

Index of Synthesis

Isolating Synthetic
Isolating
Synthetic

Languages with no bound morphemes are called isolating languages. Strictly speaking, there are no languages that do not have at least some bound morphemes. However, some languages have very little bound morphology.

(1)

Vietnamese (Comrie 1981: 43)

 

Khi tôi ðèn

nha

ban

tôi,

When

I

come

house

friend

I

‘When I came to my friend’s house,

chñng

tôi

bǎt

ðâu làm

bài.

PL

I

begin

do

lessen

‘we began to do lessons.’

Languages with a large amount of inflectional morphology are called synthetic languages.

26

(2)

(3)

Kirundi (Whaley 1997:20) Y-a-bi-gur-i-ye

CL1-PST-CL8.them-buy-APPL-ASP CL2.children

‘He bought them for the children.’

abâna

Mohawk (Mithun 1984: 868)

a. r-ukwe’t-í:yo he-person-nice ‘He is a nice person.’

b. wa-hi-‘sereth-óhare-‘se PST-he/me-car-wash-for

‘He car-wash for me.’ (= ‘He washed my car’)

c. kvtsyu

v-kuwa-nya’t-ï:’ase

fish FUT-they/her-throat-slit ‘They will throat-slit a fish.’

Languages with noun-incorporation are also called polysynthetic languages.

Index of fusion

Agglutinative Fusional
Agglutinative
Fusional

Languages in which semantic features are expressed by separate and clearly identifiable morphemes are called agglutinative languages.

27

(1)

Turkish (Comrie 1981: 44) SG

PL

Nominative adam adam-lar

Accusative

adam-K

adam-lar- K

Genitive

adam-Kn

adam-lar- Kn

Dative

adam-a

adam-lar-a

Locative

adam-da

adam-lar-da

Ablative

adam-dan

adam-lar-dan

 

Languages in which several semantic features are expressed by a portmanteau morpheme are called fusional languages. Portmanteau morphemes must be memorized.

(2)

Russian

 

SG

PL

SG

PL

Nominative

stol

stol-y

lip-a

lip-y

Accusative

stol

stol-y

lip-u

lip-y

Genitive

stol-a

stol-ov

lip-y

lip

Dative

stol-u

stol-am

lip-e

lip-am

Instrumental

stol-om

stol-ami

lip-oj

lip-ami

Prepositional

stol-e

stol-ax

lip-e

lip-ax

Table 1. Hypothetical language

TENSE

 

VOICE

 

PERS

 

NUM

 

PST

pa

ACT

no

1 st

ku

SG

sa

PRS

pi

PAS

mo

2 nd

ko

DU

si

FUT

po

MID

Îo

3 rd

ka

PL

so

28

(1)

sleep-pa-no-ku-sa

V-PST-ACT-1-SG

‘I slept’

(2) sleep-pi-no-ka-so

V-PRS-ACT-3-PL

‘We are sleeping’

Table 1. Oneida verbal inflection

Prepronominal

Pronominal

Stem

Suffixes

Negation

I

Verb

Aspect

Direction

I:you.SG

Iterative

I:you.DU

Partative

I:you.PL

I:he

you.SG:me

you.DU:me

you.PL:me

Change of morphological language types

a.

from isolating to agglutinating

 

(1)

Melanesian Pidgin (Whaley 1997: 136)

aus bloŋ

mi

>

aus blo-mi

house

belong

me

house of-me / my

(2)

how ever

 

>

however

by cause

>

because

29

going to

>

gonna

there fore

>

therefore

in deed

>

indeed

N

meaning ‘body-like’

>

-ly

any body

>

anybody

in

front of

>

in.front.of

b.

from agglutinative to fusional

(1)

Paamese (Whaley 1997: 137)

a. *na-i-lesi-Ø

>

ni-lesi- Ø

I-FUT-see-it

I.FUT-see-it

b. *ko-i-lesi-nau

>

ki-lesi-nau

you-FUT-see-me

you.FUT-see-me

c.

from fusional to isolating

   
 

Table 1. Nominal declension in Old English SG

PL

NOM

stan

stan-as

GEN

stan-es

stan-a

DAT

stan-e

stan-um

ACC

stan

stan-as

 
 

Table 2. Nominal declension in Modern English SG

PL

NOM

stone

ston-es

GEN

stone’s

ston-es

30

fusional

Loss
Loss
fusional Loss Fusion isolating Reduction agglutinative  We don’t have any evidence of any language that
Fusion
Fusion
fusional Loss Fusion isolating Reduction agglutinative  We don’t have any evidence of any language that

isolating

fusional Loss Fusion isolating Reduction agglutinative  We don’t have any evidence of any language that

Reduction

agglutinative

We don’t have any evidence of any language that went through the entire circle, but we have abundant evidence for partial developments.

Languages can be isolating in one domain and highly fusional in another domain (e.g. Oneida nouns and verbs). Thus, it is better to think about the different morphological types as characterizations of grammar sections rather than as characterizations of whole languages.

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Head-marking vs. dependent-marking

Lindsay J. Whaley. 1997. Introduction to Linguistic Typology. The Unity and Diversity of Language, chap 8.2.2. Thousands Oaks: Sage Publications

Possessive constructions

(1)

English The man’s house

dependent-marking

(2)

Hungarian (Comrie 1989: 53) az ember ház-a the man house-his ‘The man’s house’

head-marking

(3)

Turkish (Comrie 1989: 53) Adam-Kn ev-i

double-marking

(4)

Man-POSS house-his ‘the man’s house’ Haruai (Comrie 1989: 1989: 53) nòbò ram man house ‘the man’s house’

no marking

Table 1. Johanna Nichols (1986) Head-dependent pairs

Level

Head

Dependent

Phrase

Possessed noun Noun Adposition Predicate Auxiliary

Possessor Adjective NP Arguments + Adjuncts Verb

Clause

Clauses

(1)

Chechen (Dryer Workbook)

 

da:-s

wo’a-na

urs-Ø

tü:xira

dependent

father-ERG

son-DAT

knife-NOM

struck

(2)

‘The father stabbed the son.’ Japanese

 

boku

ga

tomudati

ni

hana

o

tü:xira

dependent

I

SUBJ

friend

to

flowers

OBJ

gave

‘The man gave the woman the book.’

 

(3)

Abkhaz (Dryer workbook)

 

a-xàc?a

a-pÉ@s

a-Sq?@

Ø-l@-y-te-yt?

head

the-man

the man

the-book

it-her-he-gave-FIN

‘The man gave the woman the book.’

 

(4)

Tzutujil (Dryer workbook)

 

head

x-Ø-kee-tij

tzyaq

ch’ooyaa?

ASP-3SG-3PL-ate

clothes

rats

‘Rats ate the clothes.’

 

(5)

Dani (Dryer workbook)

ap

palu-nen

Ø-nasikh-e

 

double

Man

python-OBJ

3SG.OBJ-eat.PST-3SG-SUBJ

(6)

‘The python ate the man.’ English The man gave Peter the book.

 

zero

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Adpositional constructions

(1)

German wegen des Wetters mit dem Wind gegen den Wind

dependent

(2)

Russian (Dryer workbook)

dependent

s

brat-om

with

brother-INST

 

(3)

îwith (the) brother) Abkhaz (Dryer workbook)

head

a-j@yas a-q’n@

the-river its-at ‘at the river’

(4)

Tzutujil (Dryer workbook) ruu-majk jar aachi 3SG-because.of the man ‘because of the man’

head

(5)

Turkish (Dryer workbook)

double

(6)

Mehmed-in el-i Mehmed-POSS hand-his ‘Mehmed’s hand’ Tiwi (Dryer workbook)

zero

j@r@k@pai

tuwaia

crocodile

tail

‘crocodile’s tail’

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Generalizations across languages (Nichols 1986)

1. Head/dependent marking and level

If a language has head-marking morphology anywhere, it will have it at the clause level.

2. Word order and head/dependent marking

Head-marking morphology favours verb-initial order, while dependent- marking morphology disfavours it.

3. Occurrence of arguments and head/dependent marking

If a language has head-marking at the clause level, arguments can usually be omitted.

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