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Re: More MNCL5 Problems

From:Jeffrey Jones <jsjonesmiami@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 2, 2008, 11:56
On Mon, 31 Dec 2007 08:27:05 -0500, Jeffrey Jones
<jsjonesmiami@...> wrote:
> > 11. Embedded WH-Questions and Relative Clauses > An embedded WH-question (and the normal variety of non-embedded WH- > questions, for that matter) begins with an interrogative pronoun; this is > either koi or a word form beginning with the k- morpheme. A relative clause > begins with a relative pronoun, which begins with the y- morpheme. Often, > this isn't a problem, due to the fairly free order of phrases and phrase > components and because required possessors/objects precede their heads. > Here are some examples (using non-embedded questions for simplicity). > > Koi hote tafo java? -- "How hot is your coffee?" > Kanok ta vid'he? -- "What (thing) have you seen?" > Kamak dok zan disek? -- "Whose mother told them that?" > Kilko hauso cabi korek zo hundak? -- "What kind of house did the dog run to?" > > The problem occurs when the interrogative or relative pronoun would be > contained within a subordinate clause. English pulls the pronoun (or the > phrase containing the pronoun) out of the subordinate clause, as in "What > do you want us to give you?" where "what" is really an object of "give", > not "want" (Note: the English infinitive construction corresponds to an > MNCL5 complement clause). I don't see this working for MNCL5. Possibly > some kind of "such that" construction could be used, with perhaps a 3rd > person pronoun remaining in place; I haven't figured out the other details > yet. I wonder what other strategies might be used?
I've made a small amount of progress on this. I've learned that the relevent term is "long-distance dependencies", and also that this problem is related to topicalization. I haven't developed any topic mechanism yet other than placing the topic phrase at the beginning, so I guess this problem applies to topics too. What I'm looking for is how different languages handle this. So far, all I've seen is English: relative/interrogative pronoun "moves" to the front, leaving a gap. French: "dont" is used as a relativizer, with 3rd person pronouns left in place; no embedded questions found Japanese: no relative pronouns or relativizers; no embedded questions found (possibly, they stay in place since that's what interrogative pronouns in non- embedded questions do) A few other languages seem to work like either French or English or both.