LINGUIST List 5.704

Mon 20 Jun 1994

Qs: Null-prep, Lang acquisition, Proto-I.E., Sino-Turkic vowels

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Robert Hamilton, Null-prep and pied-piping
  2. Dr M Sebba, Informal language acquisition
  3. "Gregory Jordan, Proto-Indo-European
  4. , Sino-Turkic Vowels

Message 1: Null-prep and pied-piping

Date: Fri, 17 Jun 94 08:16:44 EDNull-prep and pied-piping
From: Robert Hamilton <HAMILTNUNIVSCVM.bitnet>
Subject: Null-prep and pied-piping

I am conducting research on the acquisition (L2) of
stranding and nonstranding strategies, and have
several questions about the following languages:

 Arabic Malay
 Cantonese Mandarin
 Finnish Portugese
 Flemish Russian
 Italian Spanish
 Japanese Turkish

My query is this: does the language allow any/all of
the following phenomena:

1. preposition pied-piping in questions/relative clauses
 ENGLISH EXAMPLE: the woman to whom I sent the package
 the bus on which I did the homework

2. null-prepositions in questions or relative clauses (more
 likely in relative clauses--most languages do not allow
 this for Qs [E. Klein, 1993]):

 the bus that the girl waited this morning
 [where "for" is omitted]
 the bus that I did the homework
 [where "on" is omitted]

 An example of grammatical null-prep in modern Greek:
 To grafio pu doulevi (s'afto) ine mikro
 The office that he-works (in-it) it-is small
 [where "s'afto" is optional]

3. For CANTONESE, FLEMISH, and MANDARIN I need to know
 whether resumptive pronouns/nouns are possible:

 the woman that I sent the package to her
 the bus that I did my homework on it

 to know whether preposition stranding is possible:

 ENGLISH EXAMPLE: the woman that I sent the package to
 the bus that I did my homework on

Please send responses directly to me (if the above Bitnet
address doesn't work, try
I'll post a summary to the list. I really appreciate your help!

Robert Hamilton
University of South Carolina
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Message 2: Informal language acquisition

Date: Fri, 17 Jun 1994 15:34:22 Informal language acquisition
From: Dr M Sebba <>
Subject: Informal language acquisition

I would be grateful for any references on informal second language
acquisition, by which I mean learning of a second language in circumstances
where explicit language teaching is not involved; also, possibly, where
literacy in either language is not involved.

I will post a summary to the list if the response warrants it.

Mark Sebba
Department of Linguistics
Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YT, England
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Message 3: Proto-Indo-European

Date: Fri, 17 Jun 1994 10:15:11 Proto-Indo-European
From: "Gregory Jordan <>
Subject: Proto-Indo-European

This isn't exactly a technical question, but I'm looking for a
translation a comparative linguist made of "Little Red Riding Hood" into
Proto-Indo-European. He/she did it to demonstrate the state of the
reconstruction of PIE.

I can't find it in any index, but I assume it is in a book or journal
article. Could anyone help me?


-Greg Jordan
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Message 4: Sino-Turkic Vowels

Date: Fri, 17 Jun 1994 09:52:28 Sino-Turkic Vowels
From: <>
Subject: Sino-Turkic Vowels

I wonder if anyone might be able to point me to some references on the vowels
of Turkic languages spoken in what is now Chinese Turkestan and the Central
Asian Republics. My problem is, I have inventories of vowels for many of the
languages, but the sources I have don't tell me
how the vowels of one language correspond to
the vowels of another, or how they each correspond to the
proto-Turkic/proto-Altaic vowels. It would be very helpful if there is some
kind of table that shows these relationships, or articles on the development of
the vowel systems of these languages, preferably written in English (or

I am also interested in similar information on the Mongolian or
Tungus-Manchurian branches of the Altaic languages, and would be very grateful
for pointers.

Wen-Chao Li
Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University
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