Order of Relative Clause and Noun (Feature 7)
Relative clauses are clauses within noun phrases that further specify a head noun. A construction is considered a relative clause if the thing it describes has a semantic role within the relative clause. E.g. in the crackers [ which I bought at the store ], the construction within square brackets is the relative clause and the crackers is the head. Most languages have relative clauses that either follow (Value 1) or precede (Value 2) the head noun. (Headless relative clauses - like English what I bought at the store - are not relevant for this feature.)
– Values 1 and 2 concern relative clauses that occur with heads outside the clause. These constructions are the most frequent ones in the languages of the world.
– By contrast, in internally-headed relative clauses the head is inside the relative clause.
– In correlative clauses the head noun occurs inside the clause as well, but now the relative clause is outside the main clause. The relative clause is connected anaphorically to a noun phrase in the main clause. Consider the literal translation of the Bambara example in 4.: '[which(ever) woman left] she bought the cloth'.
– Adjoined relative clauses are again outside the main clause, but this time they do not form a constituent with the head noun, which in this case is in the main clause (rather than in the relative clause), and they may be separated from it. In the Diyari example, wila-ni [woman-loc] is the head (in the main clause) but the relative clause does not immediately follow and thus does not form a constituent with it.
– Double-headed relative clauses combine the features of externally-headed and internally-headed relative clauses in a single structure: they have both an external head noun and a noun corresponding to the head noun inside the relative clause.
Only restrictive relative clauses should be taken into account. Non-restrictive relative clauses may behave differently, but since they are not typical, they should be disregarded.
|1||Relative clause follows noun|| Juba Arabic|
zurúf [al ána kan wáje]
circumstances [rel 1sg ant face]
’the circumstances that I faced’
|2||Relative clause precedes noun|| Alamblak (New Guinea) |
[ni hik-r-fë] yimar
[2sg follow-irreal-immed.pst] person
‘a man who would have followed you’
|3||Internally-headed relative clause|| Mesa Grande Diegueño (Yuman) |
['Ehatt gaat akewii]=ve=ch chepam.
[dog cat chase]=def=subj get.away
‘The cat that the dog chased got away.’ (Lit. '[The dog chased the cat] got away.')
|4||Correlative relative clause|| Bambara (Mande) |
[Muso min taara], o ye fini san.
[woman rel leave] 3sg pst cloth buy
‘The woman who left bought the cloth.’ (Lit. 'Which woman left, she bought the cloth.')
|5||Adjoined relative clause|| Diyari (Australian) |
ŋani wila-ni yata-la ŋana-yi [yinda-nani].
1sg.subj woman-loc speak-fut aux-pres [cry-rel.ds]
‘I’ll talk to the woman who is crying.’ (Lit. 'I'll talk to the woman, crying.')
|6||Double-headed relative clause|| Kombai (New Guinea) |
[Doü adiyano-no] doü deyalukhe.
[sago give.3pl.nonfut-conn] sago finished.adj
‘The sago that they gave is finished.' (Lit. 'Which sago they gave, the sago is finished')