Saturday, September 17, 2022

Relative Clauses in Dairwueh

 I have previously given a short introduction to relative clauses in Dairwueh. Let's up the ante a bit.

Resumptive pronouns in relative attributes

Since the relativizing verb does not carry (much) information about the syntactical role that the referent has in the subclause, resumptive pronouns are often used. Some dialects and varieties of Dairwueh have a resumptive pronoun stem ner- (from a historical nez, the fricative popping back in some forms). Most use the neuter pronoun stem, but inflected for gender - the capital literary form specifically uses the t-stem version of the nominative and accusative.

A peculiar thing about the resumptive pronoun is that it can even be used for the subject of a subsequent subclause, as if this were how to form two subclauses in English:

the man who plays the guitar and he sings.

Weird restriction

Consider an utterance like 'don't reject applicants for being too boring'. In English this cannot be rephrased as 'don't reject applicants who are too boring', since this alters the meaning significantly. A strict reading has the rephrasing signify that no one that is too boring must be rejected, whereas the first only means that boringness must not influence the decision.

In Dairwueh, use of the irrealis form of the subordinating verb is used, among other things, for this particular structure.

The irrealis form can also be used to communicate a purely irrealis subclause, e.g. 'those who would do so-and-so'. To enforce the "purely irrealis" reading, a resumptive pronoun is used. To enforce the purely 'for being X' reading,the subordinate verb may be irrealis instead of infinitive - or in some varieties, a demonstrative pronoun is placed before the relative verb.

Finally, the irrealis form of the relative verb can also express an indirect question: I wonder the men who will sing -> I wonder whether the men will sing.

Use of the interrogative pronoun before a relative subclause requires irrealis in some dialects, and requires irrealis for present tense in many dialects.

Adjectives have a similar function as well when using the irrealis participle marker e-...-šis on them.

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