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Heavy constituents in left-branching langs

From:JR <fuscian@...>
Date:Sunday, January 7, 2007, 0:17
I'm trying to figure out how to deal with lengthy quotations and other heavy
constituents in my generally-left-branching conlangs. If you want to say
"She said 'blah blah blah....'" and attribute to the subject several
sentences or more worth of speech, it just doesn't seem feasible to have all
the whole quotation before the verb (especially if the language would also
drop the subject pronoun). Wouldn't you be misleading the listener, so
they'd attribute the whole quote to you until you finally got to the end?
It's one thing in literature, where even English routinely has
"'...........,' she said." But there you have quotation marks to clue you
in. How could you do that in speech though? Is this just my mother-tongue
bias acting up? I know that languages (English included) will sometimes
shift around heavy constituents for clarity - but does this go for strictly
left-branching languages? What do langs like Japanese do, that never (AFAIK)
place anything after the verb? Make two sentences out of it? Stick in a
quotation mark particle? Do some weird kind of clefting?

Any ideas?

Josh Roth


Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>
Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>