Towards a typology of relative clauses in Sinitic

Headedness and relativization strategies

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale
Giorgio Francesco ARCODIA Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

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The study of relative clauses (RCs) in Sinitic has attracted considerable attention in typological literature, especially because of the exceedingly rare correlation of Verb-Object order and prenominal relatives (Tang 2006; Dryer 2013b). As to the structural differences of RCs within Sinitic, although previous studies have brought to light several key issues (e.g. Liu 2005), there is much work yet to be done in this area. Basing on data from a convenience sample of 44 Sinitic languages, in this paper we will try to sketch a typology of relativization in Sinitic languages according to two parameters, namely the position of the head and relativization strategies. Also, we will highlight some meaningful correlations and implications constraining diversity in the domain of relativization in Sinitic.

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