LSLT 03: Dependency reversal in noun-attributive constructions

Artikel-Nr.: ISBN 9783895866838
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Dependency reversal in noun-attributive constructions

Towards a typology

Andrej L. Malchukov
Russian Academy of Sciences

This study is conceived as a contribution to a tyoplogy of attributive contructions, focussing on constructions exhibiting splits of head proporties. The term "dependency reversal in noun-attributive constructions" (DNRA) is used to refer to possessive-like attributive constructions (of the type (that) idiot of a doctor), with the attribute surfacing as the formal head and the semantic head surfacing as the formal possessor. The body of the study presents a discussion of DNRA contructions as attested in six individual languages: Even (resp. other Tungusic languages), Aleut, Hausa, Gude, Chinook and Latin. The variation of the DNRA patterns, in particular along the parameter of the attribute's upgrading/recategorization, is further considered.

Following the lines of structure-based typologies, an upward taxonomy of DNRA structures is presented to include other cases of constructions involving the attribute's upgrading and the head (-to-possessor) demotion. In search of DNRA related patterns the discussion is extended to internal relative clauses and constructions with "dominant attributes". Finally factors favouring the rise of DNRA structures are tentatively considered: apart from diachronic factors, underdifferentiation of lexical categories as well as pragmatic salience of the attribute are shown to contribute to DNRA processes.

ISBN 9783895866838. LINCOM Studies in Language Typology 03. 54pp. 2000.

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