Constructional etymology: The sources of relative clauses

Rachel Hendery

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    In this paper I discuss the diachronic relationship between relative clauses and similar constructions and argue that rather than an “etymological” source– outcome relationship, the diachronic interaction between these is often more of a matter of analogical change, frequently with participation of more than two constructions. The mechanisms involved are similar to those that lead to transfer of a relative clause marker from one language to another, in cases of constructional borrowing or calquing. In the process, I show that the sources of relative clause constructions are more varied than has previously been claimed in the typological literature. As well as the well-known sources of relative pronouns, such as demonstratives and interrogatives, other lexical and grammatical elements such as classifiers, generic nouns, discourse markers and personal pronouns can take on relative clause marking functions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLexical and Structural Etymology: Beyond Word Histories
    Editors Robert Mailhammer
    Place of PublicationBoston/Berlin
    PublisherWalter de Gruyter
    ISBN (Print)9781614510598
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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