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Examples of "scattered noun phrases"
Thread poster: zabrowa
Local time: 06:51
Aug 10, 2008

The most universal means of binding NP constituents together is adjancency, a term defined by Givon as “a transparently iconic device that keeps together structurally what belongs together functionally”. Despite its rigid order, some scattering of NP members is allowed even in English:

A man came in next who spoke no French
Lou mailed a document to Beth that he hopes she’ll read
A man came in with no shirt on

My question is, does this happen in a language you speak, too? If so, how does it look?

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:51
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
You should know...! Aug 10, 2008

Matt Coler wrote:
Despite its rigid order, some scattering of NP members is allowed even in English... My question is, does this happen in a language you speak, too?

In earlier Afrikaans texts, often directly translated from the Dutch, this happened a lot, but it is unidiomatic and you won't find it in native texts or texts translated from English. But I admire the Clumps for slogging onward...

Dutchie: De voorheen van Amsterdam afkomstige lange magere man loopt in zijn eersgisteren op de laatst maand geopende markt gekochte lichtbruin gekleurde houten klompen.
English: The previously from Amsterdam coming long thin man walks in his yesterday on the previous month opened market bought light brown colouered wooden shoes.

Boertjie: Die lang, maer man, wat lank gelede in Amsterdam gewoon het, stap met sy ligbruin houtklompe wat hy gister op die mark gekoop het wat laas maand geopen het.
English: The long, thin man, who long ago lived in Amsterdam, walks in his light brown wooden shoes that he bought yesterday on the market that opened last month.

Edited: It just occured to me that you might not be referring to this. Are you perhaps referring to the unstacking of verbs by turning nested phrases into crossed phrases?

[Edited at 2008-08-10 16:12]

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Jim Tucker  Identity Verified
United States
Hungarian to English
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natural in inflected languages Aug 11, 2008

This kind of "scattering" is typical of Latin and Greek prose (not to mention poetry); indeed, inflected languages in general build sentences in this manner.

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Examples of "scattered noun phrases"

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