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Re: A question about relative clause placement

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  • Jim T
    Hello,  Here is a natlang example from Scottish Gaelic in three months Antecedent+ Relative Pronoun+ Relative Clause na balaich aChluch The boyswhoplayed It
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 7, 2013
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      Hello, 
      Here is a natlang example from Scottish Gaelic in three months
      Antecedent+ Relative Pronoun+ Relative Clause
      na balaich aChluch
      The boyswhoplayed

      It says further the antecedent may be the object or subject of a preceding verb
      e. g.
      Verb+Subject+Object = Antecedent+Relative Clause
      ChunnaicIainna balaicha chluich
      sawJohnthe boyswho played
      John saw the boys who played

      Verb+Subject = Antecedent +Relative Clause
      dh'fhalbhna balaicha chluich
      leftthe boyswho played
      The boys who played left.

      The book goes on to say that the relative pronoun is an independent particle and because of this is followed by independent verbal forms

      I hope this is helpful & and if I or the book are wrong I hope someone here will catch it.
      I am off to work now, but since the lang. I'm trying to work on is VSO I will be watching this thread with interest.
      Jim

      ________________________________
      From: Adam Walker <carraxan@...>
      To: CONLANG@...
      Sent: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 2:42:47 PM
      Subject: Re: A question about relative clause placement


      I don't have a natlang example to offer, but Carrajina is also VSO.
      However, it stuctures relative clauses differently:

      ul omu fin viud dil chervezoji

      the man who go.3past to.the bar

      Adam

      On 8/7/13, M Forster <m3o@...> wrote:
      > Hello conlangers,
      >
      > I'm currently working on relative clauses and considering different
      > placements. My language is mostly VSO and head-first and my current
      > model for relative clauses works like this (simplified):
      >
      >      head-noun verb subject object REL
      >      "the man go he the bar who"
      >      "The man who went to the bar"
      >
      > Now my question is: Do you know of any natlang that does this? I'd be
      > very interested to know.
      >
      > Thanks in advance!
      >
      > -M
      >
    • David McCann
      On Wed, 7 Aug 2013 23:23:56 +0200 ... It s not really likely. A relative pronoun (uncommon anyway) is a combination pronoun and conjunction, and a conjunction
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 8, 2013
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        On Wed, 7 Aug 2013 23:23:56 +0200
        M Forster <m3o@...> wrote:

        > Hello conlangers,
        >
        > I'm currently working on relative clauses and considering different
        > placements. My language is mostly VSO and head-first and my current
        > model for relative clauses works like this (simplified):
        >
        > head-noun verb subject object REL
        > "the man go he the bar who"
        > "The man who went to the bar"
        >
        > Now my question is: Do you know of any natlang that does this? I'd be
        > very interested to know.

        It's not really likely. A relative pronoun (uncommon anyway) is a
        combination pronoun and conjunction, and a conjunction must start the
        clause; how else would we know that it was a new clause? In English we
        have to stick with that even when the result is ambiguous:
        That is the model whom the artist helped to paint.

        A more common pattern is to have a conjunction and pronoun:
        *That is the model that the artist helped to paint her
        *That is the model that the artist helped her to paint

        So
        man who go bar
        man that go [he] bar
        The shared subject is generally dropped in the subordinate clause
      • selpa'i
        ... In this language it s clear that a new clause starts because a verb always starts a new clause, and the arguments follow the verb. The relative pronoun
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 8, 2013
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          On 08.08.2013 17:25, David McCann wrote:
          > On Wed, 7 Aug 2013 23:23:56 +0200
          > M Forster <m3o@...> wrote:
          >
          >> Hello conlangers,
          >>
          >> I'm currently working on relative clauses and considering different
          >> placements. My language is mostly VSO and head-first and my current
          >> model for relative clauses works like this (simplified):
          >>
          >> head-noun verb subject object REL
          >> "the man go he the bar who"
          >> "The man who went to the bar"
          >>
          >> Now my question is: Do you know of any natlang that does this? I'd
          >> be
          >> very interested to know.
          >
          > It's not really likely. A relative pronoun (uncommon anyway) is a
          > combination pronoun and conjunction, and a conjunction must start the
          > clause; how else would we know that it was a new clause?

          In this language it's clear that a new clause starts because a verb
          always starts a new clause, and the arguments follow the verb. The
          relative "pronoun" here would *end* the clause, and be a way to specify
          the type of relative clause at hand; e.g. there could be different ones
          for incidental and restrictive clauses.

          Of course it's very possible that this kind of construction isn't found
          in any natural language.

          > In English we
          > have to stick with that even when the result is ambiguous:
          > That is the model whom the artist helped to paint.
          >
          > A more common pattern is to have a conjunction and pronoun:
          > *That is the model that the artist helped to paint her
          > *That is the model that the artist helped her to paint
          >
          > So
          > man who go bar
          > man that go [he] bar
          > The shared subject is generally dropped in the subordinate clause

          Yes, but some languages don't drop it. In any case, this point is not
          so important to the question at hand.

          --M
        • Roger Mills
          From: selpa i ... RM I agree with this, but your justification makes some sense.... In this language it s clear that a new clause starts
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 8, 2013
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            From: selpa'i <m3o@...>



            > M Forster <m3o@...> wrote:
            >
            >> Hello conlangers,
            >>
            >> I'm currently working on relative clauses and considering different
            >> placements. My language is mostly VSO and head-first and my current
            >> model for relative clauses works like this (simplified):
            >>
            >>      head-noun verb subject object REL
            >>      "the man go he the bar who"
            >>      "The man who went to the bar"
            >>
            >> Now my question is: Do you know of any natlang that does this? I'd be
            >> very interested to know.
            >
            > It's not really likely. A relative pronoun (uncommon anyway) is a
            > combination pronoun and conjunction, and a conjunction must start the
            > clause; how else would we know that it was a new clause?

            RM I agree with this, but your justification makes some sense....

            In this language it's clear that a new clause starts because a verb always starts a new clause, and the arguments follow the verb. The relative "pronoun" here would *end* the clause, and be a way to specify the type of relative clause at hand; e.g. there could be different ones for incidental and restrictive clauses.

            RM: Unless your language has obligatitory subject marking on the verb, do you really need the extra "he" in there-- and in that case, actually, since it's VSO couldn't it be "the man go who the bar"  ???

            Of course it's very possible that this kind of construction isn't found in any natural language.

            RM I suspect not..... :-)
          • David McCann
            On Thu, 8 Aug 2013 20:01:14 +0200 ... The fact that the language is described as VSO doesn t mean that the verb *must* come first. In natural languages, there
            Message 5 of 9 , Aug 9, 2013
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              On Thu, 8 Aug 2013 20:01:14 +0200
              selpa'i <m3o@...> wrote:

              > In this language it's clear that a new clause starts because a verb
              > always starts a new clause, and the arguments follow the verb. The
              > relative "pronoun" here would *end* the clause, and be a way to
              > specify the type of relative clause at hand; e.g. there could be
              > different ones for incidental and restrictive clauses.
              >
              > Of course it's very possible that this kind of construction isn't
              > found in any natural language.

              The fact that the language is described as VSO doesn't mean that the
              verb *must* come first. In natural languages, there are some that are
              rigidly verb final, but I don't know (not that that proves much!) any
              that are rigidly verb initial. And if a language has subordinate
              clauses, it does make sense to put the conjunction first because it
              conveys important information: there's a lot of difference between
              "before" and "after"!

              But it's true that languages can get up to anything. "He saw nothing"
              is a silly construction, but the effect of writing has blocked the
              natural evolution to "he didn't see nothing" in educated speech.
            • H. S. Teoh
              On Fri, Aug 09, 2013 at 04:04:09PM +0100, David McCann wrote: [...] ... That reminds me of this joke: Nobody is perfect. I am Nobody. ... T -- Nobody is
              Message 6 of 9 , Aug 9, 2013
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                On Fri, Aug 09, 2013 at 04:04:09PM +0100, David McCann wrote:
                [...]
                > But it's true that languages can get up to anything. "He saw nothing"
                > is a silly construction, but the effect of writing has blocked the
                > natural evolution to "he didn't see nothing" in educated speech.

                That reminds me of this joke:

                Nobody is perfect.
                I am Nobody.

                :)


                T

                --
                Nobody is perfect. I am Nobody. -- pepoluan, GKC forum
              • phil@...
                H. S. Teoh wrote: ... Which is better:  1. complete happiness in life  or  2. a ham sandwich ? Answer: a ham sandwich because
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 9, 2013
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                  "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh@...> wrote:
                  David McCann wrote:
                  > [...]
                  > > But it's true that languages can get up to anything. "He saw nothing"
                  > > is a silly construction, but the effect of writing has blocked the
                  > > natural evolution to "he didn't see nothing" in educated speech.
                  >
                  > That reminds me of this joke:
                  >
                  > Nobody is perfect.
                  > I am Nobody.

                  Which is better:  1. complete happiness in life  or  2. a ham sandwich ?

                  Answer: a ham sandwich

                  because
                     a. nothing is better than complete happiness in life
                     b. a ham sandwich is better than nothing
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