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More MNCL5 Problems

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  • Jeffrey Jones
    I discovered a couple more problems. Hopefully, the two main issues are of general interest. 11. Embedded WH-Questions and Relative Clauses An embedded
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 31, 2007
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      I discovered a couple more problems. Hopefully, the two main issues are of
      general interest.

      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?

      12. Order of Medials
      I've tried to arrange things so that all inflectional medials follow all derivational
      morphemes. However, I've come across a possible exception. It seems to make
      more sense for -apt-, which means "likely to" and is clearly derivational (it
      changes the argument structure), to be applied to a stems ending in -es-,
      which patterns with the aspect medials, as in:

      Marxok disesapte. -- "Marsha is talkative." (literally, "likely to continue talking")

      Another possible exception is mentioned below.

      Regarding the earlier problems, I've made a little progress.

      3. Trivalent Imperatives
      5. Conatives
      I haven't made a decision on these yet, but I think they're related: both
      involve making a distinction between two arguments. So, either the -m- or
      the -s- (grammatical voice medials) could be used with the conative marker,
      whichever is used with the imperative. This brings up another issue, however:
      must the conative medial precede the grammatical voice medial or can it
      follow?
    • Jeffrey Jones
      On Mon, 31 Dec 2007 08:27:05 -0500, Jeffrey Jones ... I ve made a small amount of progress on this. I ve learned that the relevent term is long-distance
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 2, 2008
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        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.
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