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Structural analogy in language and its limits [Contrast and analogy v.2]

Structural analogy in language and its limits [Contrast and analogy v.2]

John Anderson 70

John Anderson 70 in the phonology. And though one might want to say that in a specific morphophonological relationship or other, such as that involved in divine/divinity and the like, a particular intransitive vowel ‘corresponds to’ a particular transitive, in no sense can one be said to ‘incorporate’ the other. Relationships of the character of (152) are of interest here for a further reason. They can be used to illustrate the limits of morphological expression of complex scenes, the problems attendant on extension of such structural relationships to accommodate increasingly complex scenes. These are already suggested by what we can observe concerning the forms in (152). The argument in (152.b) which corresponds to the subject of (152.a) is marked by an oblique case, the accusative; in order to cater for the causative of the transitive in (152.c), which already has an accusative argument, the argument corresponding to its subject is dative in (152.d). These observations raise the questions: how many arguments can be ‘assimilated’ by a verb, and how are they to be distinguished consistently? The ditransitive in (153.a) (in which the verb is an irregular causative, though I haven’t marked it as such) already contains a dative argument, and here the causative in (b) resorts to marking of the argument corresponding to the subject of (153.a) by an adposition otherwise used with ‘passive agents’: (153) a. Müdür Hasan-a mektub-u göster-di director Hasan-dat letter-acc show-past (‘The director showed the letter to Hasan’) b. Dişçi Hasan-a mektub-u müdür tarafından göster-t-ti dentist Hasan-dat letter-acc director by show-cause-past (‘The dentist made the director show the letter to Hasan’) c. Dişçi müdür-e mektub-u Hasan-a göster-t-ti dentist director-dat letter-acc Hasan-dat show-cause-past (‘The dentist made the director show the letter to Hasan’) (Comrie 1985: 340). Only some speakers are happy with the doubling of the dative in (153.c) (Zimmer 1976: 409-12). Zimmer observes further that some speakers of Turkish are not just unhappy with sentences like (153.c), where we have causativisation of a ditransitive (or causative of a transitive verb), but they also tend to reject causativisation of the causative of intransitive bases whose one argument is an agent. Thus, whereas (152.e), involving causativisation of the causative of a non-agentive intransitive is quite acceptable, (154) is for such speakers ‘very awkward at best’ (Zimmer 1976: 409): (154) Ahmet Hasan-a biz-i çalış-tıt-tı Ahmet Hasan-dat we-acc work-cause-cause-past (‘Ahmet made Hasan make us work’) Conceptual requirements are straining at the limits of derivational capacity. Of course, such complex conceptual structures can be associated with non-derived items. Witness the English gloss to the verb in (152.b), which is not morphologically related to the verbal gloss in (152.a); or English show, which unlike the verb in (153), is not even an irregular causative. Lexical items can indeed subtend very complex and subtle semantic properties. But non-derived forms have the same limitations as derived on how much argument structure they can support. Moreover, signalling by individual lexical items systematically more complex structures which speakers may have only peripheral use for is uneconomic at best. Enter syntax, and the facility for embedding. Embedding is of-

71 Structural analogy in language, and its limits ten cited as a crucial property of syntax. But let us firstly look at its role, if any, in phonology – as well as try to clarify what is involved in such a concept. We can associate embedding, in a rather trivial sense, with structures such as (30), repeated here for convenience: (30) {V} | {C\{V}} {V} | | {\{|C|}} {C\{V}} {V} : | | : {C\{V}} {C\{V}\{C}} {V} : : : | : : : {V} {cor,obs\{V}} : : : | : : : : {V/{C}} {C\{V}} : : : : : | : : : : : {C\{C}} {C\{V}} : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : s + k + r + i + m + p + s A series of {V}s and a couple of series of {C}s in subjunction are embedded one in another, and thus recursively. This property, shared with syntax, is not my current interest, nor is it what grammarians generally have in mind when they talk of ‘embedding’. Let us accordingly limit our attention to what we might call adjunctive embedding, where the elements involved in the embedding are distinct in precedence. A trivial manifestation of such embedding is any (adjunctive) dependency relation. The only interest for us of this – what we might call simple embedding – lies in its limitation in the phonology, in the unmarked case, to unilateral categorial differentiation: thus while consonants depend on vowels, as again illustrated by (30), the converse is not the case; and more sonorous consonants depend on less sonorous. These limitations are clearly related to the physical limitations on syllable structure which underlie sonority. It has been argued, however, that recursive embedding may be exhibited by tone units. Thus, for instance, Anderson (1986a: §17) analyses an utterance like that in (155) as involving the head of a tone group (a tonic) dependent on another such head, as indicated roughly in that representation, where the lowest-level {V}s are syllable heads, the next are heads of feet (ictus), the next tone group heads and the highest is a tonic that takes another adjoined to it to the left:

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