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14.2.Left dislocation
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This section discusses left dislocation (henceforth LD). In Dutch, two different types of left-dislocation constructions can be distinguished, which are illustrated in example (31). The first type, which is often referred to as hanging-topic LD, can also be found in English but the second type is characteristic of Dutch and German; it is often referred to as contrastive LD because the left-dislocated phrase is typically assigned contrastive accent (indicated by small caps); some (but not all) speakers also allow this construction without contrastive accent.

31
a. Jan, ik heb hem niet gezien.
hanging-topic LD
  Jan  have  him  not  seen
  'Jan, I havenʼt seen him.'
b. Jan, die heb ik niet gezien.
contrastive LD
  Jan  dem  have  not  seen
  'Jan, I havenʼt seen him.'

We refer to Van Riemsdijk (1997) and Alexiadou (2006) for introductions to the various forms of LD which are found cross-linguistically; we will confine our discussion here to the two types in (31), which we will refer to by means of the names used by Van Riemsdijk (and which are used in a slightly different way by Alexiadou).
      The discussion of LD is organized as follows. Subsection I starts with a general introduction to LD and argues that left-dislocated elements, such as the noun phrase Jan in (31), are external to the main clause and are only interpreted as a constituent of the sentence by virtue of being the antecedent of a “resumptive” element in the sentence, such as the referential pronoun hem'him' and the demonstrative pronoun die'that'. Subsections II and III discuss in more detail properties of, respectively, left-dislocated and resumptive elements. Subsections IV through VI focus more specifically on the derivation of contrastive LD-constructions and provide a number of arguments in favor of assuming that sentence-initial resumptive elements such as the pronoun die in (31b) are wh-moved from some clause-internal position. Subsection VII discusses the old but still unsettled question as to whether topicalization should be analyzed as a special case of LD. Subsection VIII concludes with a brief review of number of theoretical approaches aiming to account for the differences between hanging-topic and contrastive LD. This section will not discuss cases of left-dislocated clauses; the reader is referred to Section 10.3 for relevant discussion.

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[+]  I.  General properties

LD-constructions are characterized by the fact that left-dislocated phrases are associated with a resumptive element. If we restrict ourselves for the moment to cases such as (32) with a left-dislocated noun phrase, we observe that the resumptive element preferably takes the form of a referential personal pronoun such as hem'him' if it is in clause-internal position, but that it takes the form of a distal demonstrative personal pronoun such as die'that' if it is in clause-initial position. The main verbs in these constructions cannot semantically license both the left-dislocated and the resumptive element by assigning them a thematic role. Since the resumptive pronoun is clearly the recipient of the available thematic role, it is traditionally assumed that the left-dislocated constituent does not occupy a clause-internal position but is instead base-generated in clause-external position, as indicated by the structures in (32); the left-dislocated constituent should then be semantically licensed by functioning as the antecedent of the resumptive element (indicated here by co-indexing).

32
a. Jani, [clause ik heb hemi nog niet gezien].
hanging-topic LD
  Jan  have  him  yet  not  seen
  'Jan, I havenʼt seen him yet.'
b. Jani, [clause diei heb ik nog niet gezien].
contrastive LD
  Jan dem  have  yet  not  seen
  'Jan, I havenʼt seen him yet.'

That the left-dislocated element must be licensed by functioning as the antecedent of a resumptive element can be demonstrated by the unacceptability of examples such as (33), in which no suitable resumptive pronoun is available. We refer the reader to Van Riemsdijk & Zwarts (1997:26) for discussion; there are a number of errors in the published version of this paper (like missing asterisks), which we have tacitly corrected in the discussion below.

33
* Jani, [clause ik heb haarj nog niet gezien].
  Jan  have  her  yet  not  seen
'Jan, I havenʼt seen her yet.'

There are various empirical arguments in favor of the hypothesis that left-dislocated constituents are clause-external. First and foremost, it explains why the two types of LD-constructions in (31) are special in allowing the finite verb to be preceded by two constituents: as left-dislocated elements are clause-external they do not count for the verb-second restriction; the representations in (32) are therefore in perfect accord with this restriction. Second, the hypothesis is supported by the fact that polar elements ja'yes' and nee'no' can follow the left-dislocated constituent; under the standard assumption discussed in Section 14.1, sub III, that ja and nee cannot occur clause-internally, the left-dislocated phrases in (34) must be clause-external as well. We will return to cases like these in Subsection VII.

34
a. Jani, nee, ik heb hemi niet gezien.
hanging-topic LD
  Jan  no I have him  not  seen
  'Jan, no, I havenʼt seen him.'
b. Jani, nee, diei heb ik niet gezien.
contrastive LD
  Jan  no  dem  have  not  seen
  'Jan, no, I havenʼt seen him.'

Third, the hypothesis that left-dislocated constituents are clause-external provides a simple account for the fact that LD is a typical root phenomenon, that is, cannot apply in embedded contexts: complement clauses cannot be preceded by a left-dislocated constituent. For completeness’ sake, observe that the (b)-examples are unacceptable both with and without the complementizer dat'that'.

35
a. Ik geloof [dat zij Jan/hem nog niet gezien heeft].
  I believe   that  she  Jan/him  yet  not  seen  has
  'I believe that she hasnʼt seen Jan/him yet.'
b. * Ik geloof [Jani [(dat) zij hemi nog niet gezien heeft]].
hanging-topic LD
  I believe   Jan    that she  him  yet  not  seen  has
b'. * Ik geloof [Jani [diei (dat) zij ti nog niet gezien heeft]].
contrastive LD
  believe   Jan  dem   that  she  yet  not  seen  has

Salverda (2000:102) claims that embedded contrastive left-dislocation is acceptable in spoken Dutch if the left-dislocated element and the resumptive pronoun are placed after the complementizer dat'that', as in (36b), but we agree with Van Riemsdijk & Zwarts (1997:13) that this pattern is not acceptable in the standard language; the same holds for the corresponding hanging-topic construction in (36a). The use of the asterisks in (36) is not meant to express that the patterns in (36) cannot be found in certain varieties of spoken Dutch. In fact, we expect them to be possible in the regional variety of Dutch spoken in Friesland, because Frisian does allow (some sort of) embedded contrastive LD; we refer the reader to De Haan (2010: Section 5.3) for examples and discussion.

36
a. * Ik geloof [dat Jani, zij heeft hemi niet gezien].
hanging-topic LD
  I believe   that  Jan  she  has  him  not  seen
b. * Ik geloof [dat Jani, diei heeft zij niet gezien].
contrastive LD
  I believe   that  Jan  dem  has  she  not  seen

Example (35a) can be the input for LD if the left-dislocated element is situated to the left of the complete sentence, as shown by the examples in (37). That Jan can be construed as the object of the embedded clause in (37a) is not surprising given that it is normal for the resumptive referential pronoun hem to take a non-local antecedent, that is, an antecedent that is not part of its own clause. That it can be construed as the object of the embedded clause in (37b) as well can be accounted for by assuming that the resumptive demonstrative pronoun is extracted from the embedded clause by means of wh-movement, which we have indicated by means of the trace ti. Evidence that wh-movement is involved in contrastive (but not hanging topic) LD will be given in Subsection IV.

37
a. Jani, [Ik geloof [dat zij hemi nog niet gezien heeft]].
hanging-topic LD
  Jan   I  believe  that  she  him  yet  not  seen  has
  'Jan, I believe she hasnʼt seen him yet.'
b. Jani, [diei geloof ik [dat zij ti nog niet gezien heeft]].
contrastive LD
  Jan  dem  believe   that  she  yet  not  seen  has
  'Jan, I believe she hasnʼt seen him yet.'

      Hanging-topic and contrastive LD do not allow stacking in Dutch; note that changing the order of the left-dislocated phrases in (38) will not affect the acceptability judgments. It is not clear how to account for this fact given that some of the types of LD found in other languages do allow stacking; see Alexiadou (2006) for discussion.

38
a. * Jani, dit boekj [clause ik heb hetj hemi gegeven].
2 x hanging-topic LD
  Jan  this book  have  it him  given
b. * Jani, dit boekj [clause diei heeft datj niet gelezen].
2x contrastive LD
  Jan  this book  dem  have  dem  not  read

Combining hanging-topic LD and contrastive LD, on the other hand, is possible; see Zaenen (1997). Observe that the hanging topic in the examples in (39) must precede the contrastively left-dislocated phrase. Inversion of the order of the left-dislocated phrases in (39) gives rise to a severely degraded result. This means that hanging topics can never separate a contrastively dislocated phrase from its wh-moved demonstrative correlate in sentence-initial position, despite the fact illustrated in (34b) that other clause-external material can intervene between these elements.

39
a. Jani, dit boekj, [clause datj heeft hiji niet gelezen].
HT + contr. LD
  Jan this book  dem  has  he  not  read
b. * Dit boekj, Jani, [clause diei heeft hetj niet gelezen].
HT + contr. LD
  this book  Jan  dem  has  it  not  read

Finally, observe that examples such as (40) are acceptable. Given the generalization that hanging topics precede contrastively left-dislocated phrases, example (40a) might perhaps be analyzed in the same way as (39a), with two independently left-dislocated phrases, a hanging topic followed by a contrastively left-dislocated phrase. A similar analysis is, however, less likely for example (40b), because (38b) has shown that stacking of contrastively dislocated phrases is excluded.

40
a. Jani, [dat zij hemi nog niet gezien heeft]j, datj geloof ik niet tj.
  Jan   that  she  him  yet  not  seen  has  that  believe  not
  'Jan, I don't believe that she hasnʼt seen him yet.'
b. Jani, [dat zij diei nog niet gezien heeft]j, datj geloof ik niet tj.
  Jan    that  she  dem  yet  not  seen  has  that  believe  not
  'Jan, I don't believe that she hasnʼt seen him yet.'

This seems to leave us no other option than to adopt the analysis of (40b) in Haeseryn et al. (1997:1390), according to which Jan is left-dislocated to the object clause, as in the structure indicated in (41b). If correct, it is natural to assume a similar analysis for (40a), that is, with the hanging-topic left-dislocated to the object clause, as indicated in (41a). This is quite surprising in light of our earlier conclusion drawn on the basis of the (b)-examples in (35) that complement clauses cannot be preceded by a left-dislocated constituent: we have to conclude that this is possible after all, but only if they are left-dislocated themselves.

41
a. [Jani, [dat zij hemi nog niet gezien heeft]]j, datj geloof ik niet tj.
b. [Jani, [dat zij diei nog niet gezien heeft]]j, datj geloof ik niet tj.

A similar analysis is plausible for the examples in (42), with a left-dislocated conditional clause. More examples of this type can be found in Paardekooper (1986:417).

42
a. [Jani, [als hiji blijft zeuren]]j, danj ga ik weg.
  Jan   if  he  remains  nagging  then  go  away
  'Jan, if he remains nagging, I will leave.'
b. [Jani, [als diei blijft zeuren]]j, danj ga ik weg.
  Jan   if  dem  remains  nagging  then  go  away
  'Jan, if he remains nagging, I will leave.'

Note that the resumptive demonstrative die is not in the initial position of the object clause in (41b)/(42b); this is not unexpected as Subsection IV will show that the demonstrative can remain in situ if topicalization is excluded for independent reasons.
      Semantically, the two types of left-dislocation constructions can be characterized by saying that the sentence is “about” the left-dislocated complement but they differ in that hanging-topic constructions are normally not contrastive. This can be illustrated in the coordination of LD-constructions by the conjunction maar'but', which imposes an opposition between the two conjuncts: example (43a) is acceptable only if the resumptive object pronoun hem'him' is assigned contrastive accent, while the resumptive demonstrative die in (43b) does not need any special marking (although it should be noted that it is accented in any case).

43
a. Jan, ik heb hem/*ʼm niet gezien, maar Marie wel.
hanging-topic LD
  Jan,  have him/him  not  seen  but  Marie aff
  'Jan, I havenʼt seen him but I did see Marie.'
b. Jani, diei heb ik niet gezien, maar Marie wel.
contrastive LD
  Jan  dem  have  not  seen but  Marie aff
  'Jan, I havenʼt seen him but I did see Marie.'
[+]  II.  The left-dislocated element

The previous subsection has already shown that noun phrases may occur both in hanging-topic and contrastive LD-constructions. The examples in (44) show that such left-dislocated nominal phrases can be associated with a resumptive pronoun with the function of subject, (in)direct object, and the nominal part of a PP-object. It may be the case that some speakers prefer the contrastive left-dislocation construction in the case of a subject, but both constructions seem fully acceptable.

44
a. Jani, [clause hiji is niet aanwezig].
subject; hanging-topic LD
  Jan  he  is not present
a'. Jani, [clause diei is niet aanwezig].
subject; contrastive LD
  Jan  dem  is not present
  'Jan, he isnʼt present.'
b. Dit boeki, [clause ik geef heti aan Peter].
DO; hanging-topic LD
  this book  give  it  to Peter
b'. Dit boeki, [clause dati geef ik aan Peter].
DO; contrastive LD
  this book  dem  give  to Peter
  'This book, Iʼll give it to Peter.'
c. Peteri, [clause ik geef hemi dit boek].
IO; hanging-topic LD
  Peter  give  him  this book
c'. Peteri, [clause diei geef ik dit boek].
IO; contrastive LD
  Peter  dem  give  this book
  'Peter, Iʼll give him this book.'
d. Jani, ik wacht niet langer [PP op hemi].
PO; hanging-topic LD
  Jan,  wait  no  longer  for him
d'. Jani, daari wacht ik niet langer [PPti op].
PO; contrastive LD
  Jan,  there  wait  not  longer  for
  'Jan, I wonʼt wait for him any longer.'

Left-dislocated nominal phrases can also be associated with resumptive pronouns originating in a more deeply embedded position. This is illustrated in (45) for respectively, a nominal complement and the nominal part of PP-complement of a complementive AP. We refer the reader to Subsection V for a discussion of cases in which the resumptive pronouns originates in an embedded clause.

45
a. Jani, ik ben [AP hemi beu].
hanging-topic LD
  Jan  am  him  fed.up
a'. Jani, die ben ik [APti beu].
  Jan  dem  am  I   fed.up 
contrastive LD
  'Jan, I am fed up with him.'
b. Dat gezeuri, ik word eri [AP moe [PPti van]].
hanging-topic LD
  that nagging  become  there  tired  of
b'. Dat gezeuri, daar word ik [AP moe [PPti van]].
contrastive LD
  that nagging  that  become  tired  if
  'That nagging, I am getting tired of it.'

The primed examples in (46) show that in contrastive LD-constructions the left-dislocated element can also be an AP, a PP or a verbal projection. Zaenen (1997) claims that hanging-topic LD-constructions give rise to degraded results in these cases but there appears to be speaker variation in this respect, which we indicated by means of the percentage sign.

46
a. % [Erg slim]i, hij is heti niet.
AP (complementive)
  very smart  he  is  it  not
a'. [Erg slim]i, dati is hij niet ti.
  very smart  dem  is he  not
  'Very smart, he is not.'
b. % [In Amsterdam]i, ik heb eri gewerkt.
PP (adverbial)
  in Amsterdam  have  there  worked
b'. [In Amsterdam]i, daari heb ik ti gewerkt.
  in Amsterdam  there  have  worked
  'In Amsterdam, I have worked there.'
c. % [Boeken gekocht]i, ik heb heti niet.
VP (lexical projection main verb)
  books  bought  have  that  not
c'. [Boeken gekocht]i, dati heb ik niet ti.
  books  bought  that  have  not
  'I havent bought books.'

The examples in (44) and (46) also show that left-dislocated phrases can be antecedents of resumptive elements having different syntactic functions in the case of contrastive left-dislocation: the examples in the previous subsection have shown that they can be antecedents of resumptive demonstratives that function as arguments, and the examples above show that the resumptive may also be a complementive (46a), an adverbial phrase (46b), and can even replace part of the lexical projection of the main verb (46c). The markedness of the primeless examples in (46) suggests that the left-dislocated phrases in hanging-topic LD-construction are normally antecedents of pronominal arguments.
      Saying that left-dislocated phrases can be nominal is not very precise given that there are various additional restrictions on left dislocation of noun phrases. Furthermore, hanging-topic and contrastive constructions seem to differ in that the left-dislocated element must be definite in the former but not in the latter.

47
a. Het/*Een boek van Reve, ik heb het gelezen.
hanging-topic LD
  the/a book by Reve  have  it  read
  'The/a book by Reve, I have read it.'
b. Het/%Een boek van Reve, dat heb ik gelezen.
contrastive LD
  the/a book by Reve  dem  have  read
  'The/a book by Reve, I have read that.'

The use of the percentage sign in (47b) is motivated by the fact that Zaenen (1997) gives a similar example as marked. It seems to us that judgments may differ from case to case, perhaps depending on to whether or not the indefinite noun phrase allows a specific interpretation, that is, depending on whether the speaker is able to identify the referent of the noun phrase. This would in fact be in keeping with Zaenen’s (1997:142) specificity requirement, according to which contrastive LD “can only be used felicitously when the speaker has a “recoverable” referent in mind for the initial constituent”. In accordance with this, left-dislocated noun phrases are often introduced by a D-linked demonstrative like dit/ dat'this/that' and referential possessive noun phrase. As expected, there does not seem to be any contrast between hanging-topic and contrastive LD in such cases.

48
a. Dat/Je boek van Reve, ik heb het gelezen.
hanging-topic LD
  that/your book by Reve  have  it  read
  'That/Your book by Reve, I have read it.'
b. Dat/Je boek van Reve, dat heb ik gelezen.
contrastive LD
  that/your book by Reve  dem  have  read
  'That/Your book by Reve, I have read that.'

The acceptability of left-dislocated weak quantified noun phrases depends on the quantifier; Zaenen (1997:141) shows that negative articles such as geen'no' also block contrastive LD, while determiners like vele'many' en enkele'some' at least marginally allow contrastive (but not hanging topic) LD.

49
a. * Geen boek van Reve, ik heb het gelezen.
hanging-topic LD
  no book by Reve  have  it  read
a'. * Geen boek van Reve, dat heb ik gelezen.
contrastive LD
  no book by Reve  dem  have  read
b. * Vele/Enkele boeken van Reve, ik heb ze gelezen.
hanging-topic LD
  many/some books  by Reve  have  them  read
b'. ?? Vele/Enkele boeken van Reve, die heb ik gelezen.
contrastive LD
  many/some books  by Reve  dem  have  read

Zaenen also claims contrastive left-dislocation of strong quantified noun phrases introduced by alle'all', elk ( e )'each' and de meeste'most' to be possible, but to our ear such cases seem somewhat marked, which we express in (50) by means of a single question mark; see also Van Riemsdijk & Zwarts (1997:fn.5), who reject examples like (50a'). The hanging-topic constructions all seem more degraded than the corresponding contrastive LD-constructions; cf. Vat (1997). Note that the judgments given here diverge somewhat from those in Vat, which may be related to the fact that Vat somewhat idealizes the data for the sake of simplicity (see Vat’s remark on p.71).

50
a. ?? Alle boeken van Reve, ik heb ze gelezen.
hanging-topic LD
  all books by Reve  have  them  read
a'. ? Alle boeken van Reve, die heb ik gelezen.
contrastive LD
  all books by Reve  dem  have  read
b. ?? De meeste boeken van Reve, ik heb ze gelezen.
hanging-topic LD
  the most books by Reve  have  them  read
b'. ? De meeste boeken van Reve, die heb ik gelezen.
contrastive LD
  the most books by Reve  dem  have  read
c. ?? Elk boek van Reve, ik heb het gelezen.
hanging-topic LD
  each book by Reve  have  it  read
c'. ? Elk boek van Reve, dat heb ik gelezen.
contrastive LD
  each book by Reve  dem  have  read

It must be obvious, however, that passing judgments is a somewhat delicate matter because the (a)- and (b)-examples in (50) compete with the even more natural examples in (51). In the (a)-examples quantification is expressed by the floating quantifier allemaal'all' and in the (b)-examples by the determiner of a nominal phrase pied-piped by the resumptive element er. We therefore want to stress that (as always) the diacritics on the examples in (47) to (51) express relative and not absolute judgments.

51
a. De boeken van Reve, ik heb ze allemaal gelezen.
hanging-topic LD
  the books by Reve  I have  them  all  read
a'. De boeken van Reve, die heb ik allemaal gelezen.
contrastive LD
  the books by Reve  dem  have  all  read
b. De boeken van Reve, ik heb de meeste ervan gelezen.
hanging-topic LD
  the books by Reve  I have  the most of.them  read
b'. De boeken van Reve, de meeste ervan heb ik gelezen.
contrastive LD
  the books by Reve  the most of.them  have  read

The discussion above shows that left dislocation of noun phrases provides the best result if the left-dislocated noun phrase is referential: quantified noun phrases are always marked compared to definite noun phrases introduced by a definite article, or a definite demonstrative/possessive pronoun. This conclusion is further supported by the fact that left dislocation of non-referential noun phrases is not possible; see Van Riemsdijk & Zwarts (1997) and Vat (1997), although the latter provides a number of cases in note 5 that they claim to allow contrastive LD. We illustrate this in (52) by means of the idiomatic expression ergens de ballen van geloven with the non-referential nominal phrase de ballen; observe that we have added the asterisk, which was accidentally omitted from the published version.

52
a. Ik geloof er de ballen van.
  believe  there  the balls  of
  'I donʼt believe a word of it.'
b. * De ballen, ik geloof ze er van.
hanging-topic LD
  the balls  believe  them  there  of
b'. * De ballen, die geloof ik er van.
contrastive LD
  the balls  dem  believe  there of

In other cases, LD results in the loss of the idiomatic interpretation: the number signs in the (b)-examples in (53) indicate that only the literal transmission reading survives in LD-constructions.

53
a. Jan geeft de pijp aan Maarten.
  Jan gives  the pipe  to Maarten
  Idiomatic reading: 'Jan is dying.'
b. # De pijp, Jan geeft hem aan Maarten.
hanging-topic LD
  the pipe  Jan gives  him  to Maarten
b'. # De pijp, die geeft Jan aan Maarten.
contrastive LD
  the pipe,  dem  gives  Jan to Maarten

The claim that left-dislocated phrases must be referential also accounts for the fact noticed by Zaenen (1997) that wh-phrases cannot be left-dislocated. This is illustrated in the examples in (54), which show that interrogative phrases differ sharply in this respect from demonstrative phrases.

54
a. * Wie/Welke man, ik heb hem niet gezien.
hanging-topic LD
  who/which man  have  him  not  seen
a'. Die/Deze (man), ik heb hem niet gezien.
hanging-topic LD
  this/that man  have  him  not  seen
b. * Wie/Welke man, die heb ik niet gezien.
contrastive LD
  who/which man  dem  have  not  seen
b'. Die/Deze (man), die heb ik niet gezien.
contrastive LD
  this/that man  dem  have  not  seen

Another case that may show the same is LD of reflexive and reciprocal personal pronouns, as such pronouns are not inherently referential but depend on an antecedent for their reference. Van Riemsdijk & Zwarts (1997) as well as Vat (1997) suggest, however, that the unacceptability of the examples in (55) might also be attributed to problems related to binding. An updated version of this proposal would attribute it to the fact that the resumptive pronouns hen'them' and die must take the subject zij'they' as a local antecedent in order to satisfy the binding conditions on elkaar'each other', which results in a violation of the binding conditions that they must satisfy themselves (i.e., that they must be free in their local domain); note that the binding conditions for the resumptive pronoun die in (55b) should be computed from its original object position indicated by a trace. We refer the reader to Section N5.2.1.5 for a more extensive discussion of the binding conditions.

55
a. * Elkaari, ziji respecteren heni niet.
hanging-topic LD
  each.other  they  respect  them  not
b. * Elkaari, diei respecteren ziji·ti niet.
contrastive LD
  each.other  dem  respect  they  not

The account of the unacceptability of the examples in (55) can be supported for the contrastive LD-construction in (55b) by the fact that example (56b) is fully acceptable, which can be made to follow from the fact that the resumptive pronoun die is not bound by the subject z ij in this case. This leaves us with the question as to why (56a) is still unacceptable. This is related to the “connectedness” hypothesis proposed in Vat (1997), according to which the hanging-topic and the contrastive LD-construction differ in that only the latter allow left-dislocated phrases to be interpreted as if they occupy the position of the resumptive pronoun; this means that the reciprocal elkaar'each other' is correctly bound in its local domain in (56b), but not in (56a).

56
a. * [Elkaarsi jassen]j, ziji dragen zej niet graag.
hanging-topic LD
  each.otherʼs  coats  they  wear  them  not  happily
b. [Elkaarsi jassen]j, diej dragen zijitj niet graag.
contrastive LD
  each.otherʼs  coats  dem  wear  them  not  gladly
  'Each otherʼs coats, they do not like to wear them.'

More evidence for this “connectedness” hypothesis is provided by examples such as (57) in which the indices indicate that pronouns embedded in left-dislocated phrases only allow a bound-variable reading in contrastive LD-constructions: whereas the hanging topic in (57a) must refer to a certain person’s mother, who is liked by everyone, the contrastively LD-construction in (57b) in addition allows an interpretation according to which everyone likes his own mother; see also Zaenen (1997). For a more extensive discussion of the “connectedness” hypothesis (partly based on evidence from German), we refer to Vat (1997) and Ott (2014).

57
a. [Zijnk/*i moeder]j, iedereeni vindt haarj aardig.
hanging-topic LD
  his mother everyone  considers  her  kind
  'His mother, everyone likes her.'
b. [Zijnk/imoeder]j, diej vindt iedereenitj aardig.
contrastive LD
  his mother  dem  considers  everyone  kind
  'His mother, everyone likes her.'

It has also been claimed that referential pronouns such as hem'him' cannot be left-dislocated; cf. Zwart (1997:249). If true, this would be a surprising fact given that there does not appear to be any obvious reason why this should be the case. It seems to us, however, that with sufficient context such cases are quite acceptable (see the answers to question (58a)), but we will leave it to future research to establish more exactly the acceptability status of such examples.

58
a. Ik ben op zoek naar Peter maar kan hem niet vinden. Heb jij hem gezien?
  'I am looking for Peter but I cannot find him. Have you seen him?'
b. % Hem, nee, ik heb hem niet gezien.
hanging-topic LD
  him  no  have  him  not  seen
  'Him, no, I havenʼt seen him.'
b'. % Hem, nee, die heb ik niet gezien.
contrastive LD
  him  no  dem  have I not seen
  'Him, no, I havenʼt seen him.'

It has further been claimed more specifically that first and second person pronouns cannot be left-dislocated; cf. De Wit (1997). Although such pronouns indeed seem to give rise to a marked result if they are used as hanging topics, we have the impression that they can comfortably be used in contrastive LD-constructions. We therefore mark the primed examples in (59) with a percentage sign, and leave it to future research to determine more precisely their acceptability status.

59
a. *? Mij, Peter wil mij niet meer helpen.
hanging-topic LD
  me  Peter wants  me  not  more  help
a'. % Mij, die wil Peter niet meer helpen.
contrastive LD
  me  dem   wants  Peter not  more  help
  'Peter doesnʼt want to help me anymore.'
b. *? Jou, Peter wil jou niet meer helpen.
hanging-topic LD
  you  Peter wants  you  not  more  help
b'. % Jou, die wil Peter niet meer helpen.
contrastive LD
  you dem   wants  Peter not  more  help
  'Peter doesnʼt want to help me anymore.'

For completeness' sake we note here that hanging-topic LD of pronouns improves greatly if the left-dislocated phrase is a coordinate structure, as in (60). This suggests that the presumed markedness of the primeless examples in (59) may be due to the repetition of identical forms.

60
a. [Hem en haar], ik heb ze niet gezien.
  him and her,  have  them  not  seen
  'Him and her, I havenʼt seen them.'
b. [Zij en jij], jullie zijn altijd welkom.
  she and you  you  are  always  welcome
b'. [Jou en haar], ik heb jullie niet gezien.
  you and her,  have  you  not seen
  'You and her, I havenʼt seen you.'
c. [Jij en ik] we vormen een goed team.
  you and I  we  constitute  a good team
c'. [Jou en mij], ze willen ons niet helpen.
  you and me