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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

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The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin

Query Details

Query Subject:   Argument Structure
Author:   AJDeFaz AJDeFaz
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Discourse Analysis

Query:   I am wondering if someone could suggest references or current thinking
on argument structure in verbs like act, behave, etc. They seem to
require adverbs (He acts well, They behaved badly) as complements, yet
how does fit into current thinking on argument structure. Jacobs, in
his syntax book for teachers, says that arguments are either NP's or
clauses. Any clarification of this would be appreciated. Tony
DeFazio (ajdefaz @

Tue, 22 Sep 1998 22:57:11 EDT
Cognate Block

It is obvious that the presence of cognate words in L2 that are
related to a learner's L1 is a great advantage in acquisition. Is
there, however, a point at which this advantage fades in acquiring
related L3, L4 or L5? I am thinking in particular of a case in which,
for example an English speaker learns his second or third foreign
language within one family and does not commit cognate words in the
new language to memory as easily, mainly because they are comprehended
quickly through previous knowledge and are just buzzed over. Often
the learner is not aware at first that he has encountered a new word
to be learned. The situation is sort of the mirror image of an ESL
student who cannot break out of a local immigrant pidgin, because once
he knows he is understood, he loses motivation to learn the correct

Does anyone know if there tends to be such a state of diminishing
returns in learning several related languages?

James Kirchner

Tue, 22 Sep 1998 10:32:24 +0000
Wilfried Oeller

the International Pragmatics Conference to take place in June 1999 at
Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is going to deal with, among others, the
observation that

''interlocutors engage in negotiations about every aspect of their
interaction - such as floor access and topic selection, contextual
assumptions, conversational goals, and the (mis)interpretation and
repair of their messages''

- and a number of interactional features and participant
interrelations could easily be added.

I would be grateful for hints on articles, studies, books etc. that
focus on this aspect. Please note: I'm not primarily looking for
analyses of what one might call the text sort of negotation, like
negotiations in business or diplomacy, rather I'm interested in the
multiple, often implicit or covert negotiations that run parallel to
every verbal and nonverbal interaction.

I'd welcome hints from any theoretical background (CA, DA,
argumentation theory, Ftf-interaction, action theory, social
psychology, ...). Thanks in advance for your help. I'll post a
summary of the responses.

Wilfried Oeller
University of Vienna, Austria

Tue, 22 Sep 1998 21:46:40 EDT
Julie A Legate
Paradigmatic Gaps

I'm searching for information on paradigmatic gaps. This phenomenon
can be described as a slot in a morphological paradigm that native
speakers of the language feel that no form adequately fills. For
example, for many English speakers, the verb ''stride'' does not have a
past participle:

I stride, I strode, I have *stridden/*strode/*strided

Another example of a paradigmatic gap is found in Russian,
where there does not seem to be a first person present form of the
verb ''to vacuum clean'':

pylesosit ''to vacuum clean'', *pylesoshu/*pylesos'u ''I vacuum clean''

A difficulty in researching this topic is that grammars and
dictionaries of the language tend not acknowledge the existence of
such gaps, often proscribing a form to fill out the paradigm, contrary
to the intuitions of speakers of the language. For example, the
Oxford English Dictionary gives both ''stridden'' and ''strode'' for the
past participle of ''stride'' (''strode'' being marked as colloquial).
In addition, many paradigmatic gaps seem to be like the
English and Russian examples cited here, in that speakers know what
possible forms would be, although all of them sound wrong. In other
cases, there may be phrasal alternatives that functionally fill the
slot in the paradigm.
I would appreciate hearing about any cases of paradigmatic
gaps that readers may know about, including whether speakers of the
language know of possible forms, and if there is a conventional
phrasal alternative. I will post a summary if there is sufficient

Thank you.

Julie Legate
LL Issue: 9.1318
Date posted: 22-Sep-1998


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