LINGUIST List 9.1710

Fri Dec 4 1998

Qs: Creole classifiers, Chinese resultative, French

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  1. Adam Schembri, Classifiers in creole languages
  2. chen liang, Chinese resultative
  3. Mobutu African, French songs

Message 1: Classifiers in creole languages

Date: Wed, 02 Dec 1998 20:20:52 PST
From: Adam Schembri <>
Subject: Classifiers in creole languages

Research on creole signed languages, such as ISN in Nicaragua, has
indicated that these languages have a class of polymorphemic verbs of
motion, location and handling which include handshapes morphemes
commonly known as "classifiers" (Senghas, 1994). I've read somewhere
that classifiers are unknown in spoken language creoles, but can't
locate the reference. Can anyone supply a reference for this, or would
any creolists like to comment?

Adam Schembri
Renwick College
Private Bag 29
Parramatta NSW
Ph (voice/TTY): (61 2) 9872 0303
Fax: (61 2) 9873 1614

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Message 2: Chinese resultative

Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 10:22:53 +0800
From: chen liang <>
Subject: Chinese resultative

Dear Linguists,

I am doing my MA project on Chinese resultative. The surface structure
of secondary predication seems to differ from that of English,
there is a morpheme DE between the two predicates as in:

 (1) "John ku DE Tom hen shangxin"
 John cry DE Tom very sad
 Lit. "John cried such that Tom got very sad.)
 (2) "John ku DE hen shangxin"
 John cry DE very sad
 Lit. John cried such that John became sad.

What is interesting about the Chinese data is (a) the fact that we get
a kind of subject control structure, in (2), and (b) the act that the
article DE precedes not only the resultative predicate but also the
affected DP Tom in (1) (DE developed historically from the full verb
de meaning 'obtain'(the result of ). I would like to know whether
there are other languages in the world which requires the same DE-like
morpheme to form a secondary predication. 

Please contact me through e-mail: Chen Liang< 

Professor Tim Stowell gives me some wonderful suggestions. He assumes
that further research would be needed, (a) to get further evidence for
the subject status of the post-DE DP, something that would probably be
difficult, and (b) to elucidate the nature of the relation between the
main verb (or some other element in the main clause) and the
resultative clause, and also between the subject of the resultative
and the main predicate. These are still unresolved problems in
English, in my view; perhaps only a careful cross-linguistic
comparison of resultatives will resolve this. I thank professor Stowell
for this. 

What are your opinions on these two issues? If I get enough
feedback, I will post a summary with the information received.

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Message 3: French songs

Date: Thu, 03 Dec 1998 13:25:35 PST
From: Mobutu African <>
Subject: French songs

Dera linguists, 

I am looking for a postdoc to research on colloquial French and
"francais populaire" in a corpus of French songs.
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