Timm (1995)

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  • Timm, L., 1995. 'Pronominal A-forms in Breton: A discourse-based analysis', Journal of Celtic Linguistics 4:1-34.

 Breton has a set of pronouns based on the conjugated prepositions a ('of') which serves several syntactic fnctions; prominent among these are its role as postverbally positioned direct object, in which it stands in complimentary distribution with the basic preverbally placed personal pronouns. In addition, the same forms are found in postverbal position with chiefly intransitive and negative, inflected verbs, for which they clearly cannot be serving as direct objects. The question is, are they subjects in this usage or something else? One set of researchers (Borsley & Stephens 1989) working within the Government and Binding theory have argued that they are subjects in this context, and have used this claim to undermine the Complementarity Principle of Breton advanced by Stump (1984). This paper offers fuller perspectives on this claim, and reaches the conclusion that the pronouns in question are not in fact postverbal subjects but cohesive entities-- Specifically, nonargument pronominal anaphors or appositives -- that link coreferential entities through stretches of discourse.


p. 21, l'exemple (74), traduit 'He did not burn ash-wood very often', doit être corrigé comme en (1):

(1) Brene ket gwall alies onenn anezhañ.
(ne) achetait pas très souvent frêne P.lui
'Il n'achetait pas de frêne très souvent.' Cornouaille, (Douarnenez), Hor Yezh (1983:17)

 Hêtre na eo? Petra eo frêne? Onenn. Onenn, n'eo ket? Onenn eo ar frêne? A boñ. 
 Koad ar fav oa gwelloc'h. Gant koad ar fav oa... 
 O brene ket gwall alies onenn anezhañ, nann, benn gave fav brene ket onenn anezhañ.