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Re: Relative clauses

From:Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Date:Saturday, August 6, 2005, 12:27

I have a question: are there natlangs where in a relative
construction, the modified noun is part of the subordinate clause?  I
mean, it belongs to the matrix clause logically, of course, since the
relative clause modifies it there.  But do some languages re-structure
this syntactically so that the modified noun becomes part of the
relative clause?


Matrix Clause:
    The man is tall.

Relative clause:
    who is eating

    The man who is eating is tall.
    \_M______            _______/
        \_ modified noun

  M = Matrix clause
  R = Relative claue

But it may equally be possible to express this as:

    The man is eating, X is tall.
  \_                  _M________/
        \_ modified noun

Where X is some kind of 'reverse' relative pronoun that is used in the
matrix clause to 'import' the modified noun from the relative clause.
(This is just an example, I can think of other possibilities to move
the noun from matrix to relative clause.)

I think in all natlangs I know, the modified noun is part of the
matrix clause.  Is there a theoretical reason for it?



David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>
Patrick Littell <puchitao@...>
Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>