Tid: Torsdag 23 maj 2013 kl. 15:00 – 17:00
Plats: C307, Södra huset, Frescati

Postseminarium äger rum direkt efter seminariet i institutionens pentry.


In word order typology, VO order correlates very strongly with N-Rel word order, and N-Rel word order is furthermore also dominant in the sense that it is overrepresented in OV languages as well. In most word order classifications, the only language listed as VO and Rel-N is Chinese (or one or more of the Sinitic languages and their closest relatives), and this presumably correlates with a head-final bias in most of the Sino-Tibetan language family. In this view, the fact that the verb-initial Austronesian langages spoken in Taiwan often display Rel-N order is highly surprising (Comrie 2008). Chinese (or Japanese) influence can be discounted for various reasons. Previous research suggests that relativization in the languages involved can be described more accurately as nominalization (Tang 2008). This would predict that the relative clause and the NP are independent units and that ordering is not really an issue determined by headedness and word order typology in the normal sense. However, it still does not explain the actual orders attested: why do some languages display strong preferences for Rel-N order?

The talk will discuss ongoing research (Karlsson & Holmer 2011, Holmer & Karlsson 2012) suggesting that word order in at least one of the languages involved, Puyuma, varies for information structural reasons, and further present new evidence which supports the view that prenominal relativization in some cases might be a relic of the diachronic development of subject-oriented relativization from a subject-final matrix structure (essentially an instance of internally headed relativization). In this light, prenominal relativization might be the expected construction, rather than a typological aberration.

Comrie, Bernard. 2008. Prenominal relative clauses in Verb-Object languages. Language & Linguistics 9: 723-733.

Holmer, A. & Karlsson, A. 2012. "Information Structure and Prosody in Puyuma NP-internal Word Order". Paper presenterad på 19th Annual Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association, Academia Sinica Taipei, Taiwan, June 26-30, 2012.

Karlsson, A. & Holmer, A. 2011. "Interaction between word order, information structure and intonation in Puyuma". In Papers in Austroasiatic and Austronesian Linguistics, Mitsuaki Endo (ed.), pp. 28-38.

Tang, Chih-Chen Jane. 2008. Functional extension vs. Grammaticalization: A typological study of modification markers in Formosan nominals. Language & Linguistics 9: 917-966.

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Ljuba Veselinova