LINGUIST List 6.833

Thu 22 Jun 1995

Sum: Dislocations

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  1. PIERRE LARRIVEE, dislocations

Message 1: dislocations

Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 08:21:21 dislocations
Subject: dislocations

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Date Mon, 19 Jun 1995 08:10:48 -0400
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I posted a week ago a query on the topic of dislocation. I wanted to know
whether just any of the phenomena known by the name of dislocation implies
coreference. The responses to the posting indicated that the word
dislocation is by and large used to refer to a phrase P adjoined to a
 sentence S where P holds a coreference relationship with a pronoun
included in S. So there seems to exist a terminological consensus on this
notion (although for some dislocation covers topicalization).

Here is a very slightly edited summary of responses. Many thanks to all
those whose responded. I hope this is useful. Pierre Larrivee. (Bill Croft):
I think you will have to define "dislocation" to get a useful
answer from your query---in particular, define it in such a
way that the coreference relation does not follow by definition.
If "dislocation" means what the etymology suggests, then it
involves movement of an element out of its canonical position;
if you allow coreference to phonologically null elements (left
in canonical position), then by definition a dislocated element will have
a coreference relation to an element in the sentence to which
it is adjoined, namely to the null or non-null element it has
"left behind".
 If you do not allow coreference to phonologically null elements,
then the English construction called "Topicalization" or "Y-
movement" is a counterexample to the generalization you are
inquiring about. If you define "dislocation" in a non-movement
fashion---i.e. as some element (an NP?) adjoined to a sentential
constituent---then Japanese, Chinese and
other E Asian languages' topic constructions will be a counter-
example, since the "topic" NP need not be an argument or
even an adjunct of the sentence to which it is adjoined.

To this comment of mine:
It seems to me that topicalization is a somewhat different phenomena from
dislocation, is it not? cf. the prosody (no pause for topics) and the lack (in
general) of a resumptive pronoun (Chocolate cake i like (*it)).
W. Croft added:
Prosody would be an interesting start on a definition of dislocation that
doesn't presuppose coreference---I think the resumptive pronoun part
is more problematic, since specifying the form of a resumptive form
would presuppose coreference.

>From (??Bart Holle)
At the moment I am working on Right Dislocation, mainly in Dutch.
And as far as I can tell there are no counterexamples. The moment
there is no reference to an element in the "main" clause it is
clearly extraposition. A main difference for Dutch is that you can
extract out of an extraposed phrase, whereas you cannot out of
right dislocated one.

>From (Sophie Kern)
I'm actually writting my thesis about the development of
narrative competence by French monolingual children (3 to 11 years old
using) a picture book task. One of the domain I'm studying is the reference
to the main or other characters of the story, and particulierly what kind
of linguistic devices the children use to maintain or to switch reference
in subject position I found a lot of left and right dislocations.

>From Larry Horn (LHORNYaleVM.CIS.Yale.Edu)
You might want to check out an old paper by Robert Rodman on Topicalization
and LD in a journal called Papers in Linguistics. I think it was 1973.
He talks about sentences like:
 As for noxious odors, my sheepdog farts after eating escargots.
in which the sentence is a comment on the topic in the "LD" phrase, but no
coreference per se obtains.

>From barrettZELIG.CS.NYU.EDU (Leslie Barrett)
There's an article by Bowers in LI (1993) that mainly concerns predication
but mentions coreference possibilities in fronted VPs like the following:
 Criticize himself, I think John never will
 i i

)From (Hussein Shokouhi)
Ronald Geluykens has extensively worked on this issue in English. He has
published a book in 1992 under the title of 'From grammar to discourse:
left-dislocated construction'. Knud Lambrescht has also done something on
French. He has also published a book on French discourse and syntax in 1994.
Surely, you can find a good number of references in those two books.
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