Eska, Joseph F., and Benjamin Bruch, “Remarks on pragmatic fronting and poetic overdetermination in Middle Cornish”, North American Journal of Celtic Studies 5:2 (Autumn, 2021): 131–193.
- journal article
As a verb-second language, one expects Middle Cornish to allow only a single argument/complement to appear in the left periphery of affirmative root clauses. Object personal pronouns never occur in the left periphery, but a full non-adjunct XP and subject personal pronoun do, in fact, coöccur in 329 clauses in our corpus—in that order, in all but a single token—, presumably owing to poetic overdetermination, which alters the morphosyntax and surface configuration in order to enable the required syllable-count or end-rhyme in the verse line. George 1990 & 1991, based upon an analysis of Beunans Meriasek, finds five tokens of full object DP and subject personal pronoun which coöccur in the left periphery, which, he states, are not motivated by poetic overdetermination. He concludes, on that basis, that the construction is generated by the grammar. In this paper, we collect all of the tokens of this construction in the verse corpus of Middle Cornish and propose that they are all, ultimately, motivated by poetic overdetermination, not only in order to enable the required syllable-count or end-rhyme, but sometimes also to encode pragmatic information.
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