Dear Dr. Gomes,
I am Tereza Zikudová from the University of Göttingen, writing to you in connection
with the project on the Head-Final Filter, which I am involved in together with Sascha
The project is concerned with the restriction on complex modifiers found in
a number of languages that requires the head of the modifier to be adjacent to its head noun. The following examples illustrate this for English
- *a [proud of his son] father (cf. a [proud] father, a father [proud of his son])
- *ein [stolzer auf seinen Sohn]
Vater (cf. ein [auf seinen Sohn stolzer] Vater)
All theoretical work on this supposedly universal constraint is currently based on a small and skewed sample of languages which mostly includes
Standard Average European. For this reason, we are now putting together a typological resource for this phenomenon. Our aim is to create a generally accessible online database, with all sources of information properly acknowledged of course.
Unfortunately, we were not able to find any relevant information for any Tupian language at all (we tried with Guaraní,
Karitiâna, Mundurukú, Tupinambá, and some others).
We know that Tupian languages tend to have postnominal adjectival modifiers and postpositions, but we couldn’t find information in grammars/articles about complex adjectival phrases used attributively (such as
"a father [proud of his son]" or "a child [independent of his/her parents]"). We also couldn’t find information about whether postpositional
phrases can function as adnominal modifiers in Tupian (as in "a walk [in the forest]" or "a meeting [in the afternoon]").
We saw that you work on Tupian languages and thought that you could be able to help us with this kind of information or at least suggest us someone else who would be able to help.
We would be very grateful for any tip!
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Tereza Zikudová, Sascha