Beermann, D., Lars Hellan and Ota Ogie (2001) Extraction in Edo.
Edo, a Niger-Congo language related to the Kwa languages of West Africa, allows two distinct strategies of marking an ‘extraction site’, used in wh-constituent questions, under relativization, and for focus dislocation. These strategies are:
- A pronominal item in the form of a 3rd person sg. pronoun marks the ‘extraction-site’.
- A monosyllabic transitive verb (or preposition) subcategorizing for an extracted direct object, adopts the tonal (morphological) signature of an intransitive predicate.
TypeCraft contains data that shows the use of the pronominal site-holder in different extraction contexts. Example(1)below illustrates the use of the 3sg object pronominal place-holder marking the 'base-position' of a focus left-dislocated NP under direct object extraction.
Dè èmwí èhá nè Òtà mié̠ íràn (è)̠ré
“What three things did Ota receive from them?”
The 3sg object pronominal place-holder also marks the 'base-position' of a focus left-dislocated NP in inherent complement constructions as in example(2):
Ègbé ò̠ré Òzó mú íràn è̠ré
“It is dressing Ozo dressed them”
For subject extraction, a pronominal that has the form of the 3sg subject pronoun except that the former has a high tone while the latter a low tone, acts as a place-holder marking the 'base-position' of the extracted NP:
Òtà vbé Àmè (ò̠ré) ó̠ gbé
“It is Ota and Ame that are dancing”
Example (4) illustrates extraction out of an adjunct construction with extraction marked by a locative marker occurring directly after the subject:
Dè èkè nè Òzó ná dé ízè̠ nó̠dè?
“Where did Ozo buy the rice yesterday”
More examples illustrating the pronominal marking of extraction sites, and more about the difference between extraction types and the function of the pronominal place holder can be found in the manuscript.
The manuscript discusses the grammatical nature of the pronominal place-holder which occurs in the canonical position of an extracted argument, where it seems to function as a ‘spelled-out trace’, but pronominal 'place-holders' may also occur under extraction of non-arguments, such as inherent complements, corresponding to semantically but not syntactically incorporated nouns, and under adjunct-extraction.