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Re: Relative clauses

From:Chris Bates <chris.maths_student@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 12:44
>I do not want Senjecas to have relative pronouns, adjectives, etc. I >understand that a relative construction can be signaled by a form of >the verb such as participles or by the use of a different mood. >However, if only the form of the verb signals the relative >construction, how does one differentiate between, e.g., "I know when >you are going" and "I know where you are going"? Is _context_ the >only answer? > >
Yes. You must also realize that not all languages *allow* you to relativize all roles. For instance, in Tagalog (IIRC) only the trigger is relativizable, so the only roles the head noun can play in the relative clause are those roles which can be made trigger by the voice system. Similarly, many languages, whether with a well developed voice system or not, restrict the roles a head noun can play to either actor or patient (subject or object / ergative or absolutive), or to just subjects or just absolutive arguments. The main relativization strategy is Basque is only allowed for ergative, absolutive, dative (and marginally locative) roles. E.g: ikusi duen gizona = see.perf 3rd.abs-trans-3rd.erg-rel man-def = "he/she saw him/her"-rel the man = the man who saw him/her = the man who he/she saw The -en only marks the relative clause, not the role the head plays in it. Such languages may not give the subordinate clause in "I know where you are going" the form of a relative clause, but may build such subordinate clauses in a similar way to questions or in some other way.


Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>