A relative clause is a clause that modifies a noun, and thus, it has an adjectival function. The noun that is modified is called “the head” (or “head noun”). Depending on the language, any constituent of the relative clause can be relativized, i.e. can be the head. In the following example, the object of the verb of the relative clause, admire, is relativized. The blank line in the example indicates where the head, artist, is interpreted. The noun phrase containing the relative clause can have any grammatical function. In this example, it is the subject of the main clause. (For reasons of simplification, in the examples provided in this chapter, the relative clause is in italics and, where marked, the head is in bold. Where present, the underscore illustrates the clausal gap where the head is interpreted but not pronounced.) [The artist that Laura admires __ ] makes beautiful pottery. Languages form relative clauses in a variety of ways. If the sign language that is studied does not mark a relative clause with a special manual sign, identifying relative clauses may be a challenging task. It has been observed in sign languages for which a description of relative clauses is available, that non-manual markers are often the only linguistic means distinguishing relative clause constructions from coordinate clauses / coordinate clauses [Syntax – Section 3.1]. We will illustrate some properties of relativization that may help in identifying the presence of a relative clause in the language under investigation.

Relative clauses

Branchini Chiara;
2017-01-01

Abstract

A relative clause is a clause that modifies a noun, and thus, it has an adjectival function. The noun that is modified is called “the head” (or “head noun”). Depending on the language, any constituent of the relative clause can be relativized, i.e. can be the head. In the following example, the object of the verb of the relative clause, admire, is relativized. The blank line in the example indicates where the head, artist, is interpreted. The noun phrase containing the relative clause can have any grammatical function. In this example, it is the subject of the main clause. (For reasons of simplification, in the examples provided in this chapter, the relative clause is in italics and, where marked, the head is in bold. Where present, the underscore illustrates the clausal gap where the head is interpreted but not pronounced.) [The artist that Laura admires __ ] makes beautiful pottery. Languages form relative clauses in a variety of ways. If the sign language that is studied does not mark a relative clause with a special manual sign, identifying relative clauses may be a challenging task. It has been observed in sign languages for which a description of relative clauses is available, that non-manual markers are often the only linguistic means distinguishing relative clause constructions from coordinate clauses / coordinate clauses [Syntax – Section 3.1]. We will illustrate some properties of relativization that may help in identifying the presence of a relative clause in the language under investigation.
SignGram Blueprint. A Guide to Sign Language Grammar Writing
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3694527
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