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Abstract : The aim of this study is to describe the two kinds of headless relative clauses that are attested in Pesh, a Chibchan language spoken in Honduras: free relative clauses, which use a wh-word that functions as a relative pronoun to their left edge, and a subordinator to their right edge; and headless relative clauses which lack a wh-word, in which a case marker or the topic marker is found to its right edge. The first type is less frequently attested in our natural corpus, although we did find various instances of maximal, existential, and free choice free relative clauses. Each of the constructions is distinguished by features of the wh-word and/or by certain restrictions regarding the tense of the verb in headless relative clauses or the type of verb in matrix clauses. In maximal free relative clauses, only the locatives piah 'where' and pikan 'where, in which direction' can appear. In existential free relative clauses different wh-words can be used, but there are restrictions, since only the future tense is used for the predicate in the free relative clause, and the verb in the matrix clause must express existence such as tʃa-'be, be there, exist, inhabit'. In free choice free relative clauses, different wh-words may be used, and these are obligatorily reduplicated. The second type of headless relative clause, the one that does not use a wh-expression, behaves like the headed relative clauses that lack a wh-expression. These are much more frequent in the corpus. They are like noun phrases marked at the end by a case marker or the topic maker. The case or topic markers are used for light-headed relative clauses and for almost all types of maximal headless relative clause that have neither a light-head nor wh-expression, in contrast to maximal free relatives in which only locative wh-words are used.
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Contributor : Claudine Chamoreau <>
Submitted on : Friday, February 15, 2019 - 10:19:16 PM
Last modification on : Friday, March 1, 2019 - 1:16:31 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, May 17, 2019 - 11:43:37 AM


Chamoreau_Headless Relative in...
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  • HAL Id : halshs-02021454, version 1



Claudine Chamoreau. HEADLESS RELATIVE CLAUSES IN PESH. 2019. ⟨halshs-02021454⟩



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