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The article examines the patterns of relative clauses in Dagbanli, a Gur language spoken in northern part of Ghana. It focuses on a range of possible RC patterns, and presents a coherent classification using Vries’s model of RC types. The article argues that Dagbanli has two RC types which are characterized by shared features so “indefinite pronoun” that forms a compound with the nominal root, and maa or la “clause-final determiner.” The first RC type is restricted to cases in which the antecedent has subject function within the RC, and the other RC type occurs only with nonsubjects as relativized head making use of postsubjectival particle ni to mark subordinated clauses. It is proposed that Dagbanli has a postnominal word order of N . . . RC . . . D and allows D-type ([[Subj V Obj] D] RC) in-situ HIRC (Head Internal Relative Clause) as well HERC (Head External Relative Clause). It also presents ŋun “who” and ni “which” as question particles that are used to introduce relative clauses in Dagbanli. Keywords Dagbanli, Gur, ŋun, ni, so syntactically or semantically, the typical relative clause usually Introduction consists of an initial NP (the antecedent or head) followed by the According to Saah (2010), “a typical relative clause usually modifying clause. Together, they make up one complex NP, consists of an initial Noun Phrase (NP) followed by the modi- which can perform any of the grammatical functions in a fying clause which can perform any of the grammatical func- sentence such as subject and object. (p. 91) tions in a sentence” (p. 91). In a natural conversation, following Vries (2002), a typical example of a relative clause would be I agree with Saah that the [N RC] . . . ] type of NP can func- like the following example as presented in Dagbanli: tion as a subject as shown in Example 3a or an object as shown in Example 3b in a sentence in Dagbanli: Example 1 Example 3 zaŋ ti bia so ŋun zu baa maa teke give 3sg child pro rel steal.perf dog Det. a. bi-so ŋʊn zu baa la ʧaŋ-ja “Give it to the child who stole the dog” child rel steal.perf dog Det go.perf “The child who stole the dog is gone” In the sentence in Example 1, bi-a “child” is the antecedent, ŋun “who” is a relative pronoun that refers to the antecedent b. ti ɲa bi-so ŋʊn zu baa la bi-so, and ŋʊn zu baa maa “who stole the dog” is relative 3pl see.perf child rel steal.perf dog Det clause that postmodifies antecedent bi-so. In a sentence in “We saw the child who stole the dog” Dagbanli, a relative pronoun also functions as subject as illustrated in Example 2: The Examples 3a and 3b show a postnominal word order [N . . . RC . . . D] in Dagbanli. Example 2 The article examines the possible patterns of relative clauses in Dagbanli and presents a coherent classification. Previous ŋʊn zu baa maa accounts of RC in Dagbanli include Olawsky (1999), Fiedler rel steal.perf dog Det. and Schwarz (2005), Hudu (2012), Issah (2013), and others. “Who stole the dog?” Tamale College of Education, Ghana, Africa The Examples 1 and 2 show the possible clause structure pat- Corresponding Author: terns in Dagbanli. It is clear in Example 2 that the RC is an Abdul-Razak Inusah, Tamale College of Education, P. O. Box 1 E/R, embedded clause that forms part of an NP as noted by Saah Tamale-NR, Ghana, West Africa. (2010) who states that Email: email@example.com Creative Commons CC BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage). 2 SAGE Open None of the previous study provides the possible different pat- participants to cross check the initial data obtained. Ten partici- tern of RC and outlines the features of RC in Dagbanli. This pants; five men and five women were selected and they were article shows that there are two RC types in the language which between the ages of 25 and 50 years. The data were collected are characterized by shared features represented by so “indefi- from the villages around Yendi. The interview was selected for nite pronoun” and maa and la “clause-final determiners.” the data collection because most of the participants who were Fiedler and Schwarz explain that the first RC type is restricted selected were men and women who could not read nor write. to cases in which the antecedent has subject function within the Participants were contacted personally for their consent before RC and the other RC type occurs only with nonsubjects as rela- the exercise. The secondary data were taken from Dagbanli tivized heads and makes use of postsubjectival particle ni existing literature Olawsky (1999) and Issah (2013). marking also some other subordinated clauses. I propose that Dagbanli allows D-type in situ HIRCs (Head Internal Relative Relative Clauses Clauses) as well as HERC (Head External Relative Clause) as Vries (2002) states, “to establish what can be called a relative analyzed in the data presented in this article. I also argue that clause, the definitions that make use of the concepts modifi- ŋun “who” and ni “which” are particles used to introduce rela- cation or antecedent are obviously too narrow, since there are tive clauses in Dagbanli. The data are analyzed using Vries’s appositive relatives, head-internal relatives, etc” (p. 1). Vries (2002) model of RC types. The rest of the article presents a thus considered the defining properties of relative clause brief background of Dagbanli while “Data” section discusses which are both semantic and syntactic as follows: data used in this article. “Relative Clauses” section discusses relative clause; “Parametric Variation” section looks at para- Example 4 metric variation of RC (Vries’s model of RC types); “Main Types of Relative Clauses” section discuses types of RC, and i. “A relative clause is subordinated.” “Conclusion” section concludes the article. ii. “A relative clause is connected to surrounding material by a pivot constituent.” Background of Dagbanli Vries (2002) explains that “the pivot is a constituent semanti- Dagbanli belongs to the Oti-Volta subgroup, a major branch of cally shared by the matrix clause and the relative clause. Gur languages within the Niger–Congo family of Africa Often it is a noun phrase. If it appears to be spelled out inside (Naden, 1988; Naden, 1989; Bendor Samuel, 1989; Hudu, the matrix clause, it can be recognized as an antecedent” (p. 2010). It has been classified by Naden (1989) and Wilson 1). This he notes yields [matrix . . . [N RC] . . . ] where the (1970) as belonging to the Gur language family. Dagbanli is relative clause contains a gap which may be filled by a rela- spoken mainly in the Northern Region of Ghana by Dagbamba. tive pronoun. Hudu (2012) observes that speakers of Dagbanli are called Dagbamba “plural” and Dagbana “singular.” Dagbani and Example 5 Dagomba are the most used forms of Dagbanli and Dagbamba. Dagbanli has three main dialects: the eastern dialect spoken in a. ti ɲa Ali ŋʊn zu baa maa Yendi and its surrounding villages; the western dialect spoken 3pl see.perf Ali rel steal.perf dog Det in and around Tamale and the Nanunli which is also an eastern “We saw Ali who stole the dog” dialect spoken in Bimbila and its surrounding. b. ti ɲa teebʊlʊ-ʃɛlɨ a ni da la 3pl see.perf table.pro 2sg rel buy.perf Det Data “We saw the table which you bought” The data in this article are based on nayaɣili “the eastern dialect spoken in Yendi.” The data used are both primary and In Example 5a, the matrix is ti ɲa “we saw,” the noun is Ali, secondary. The primary data were collected as samples of and the RC is ŋun zu baa maa “who stole the dog.” Ali is natural conversations by native speakers in the markets, then the pivot in this construction shared by both the matrix homes, lorry parks, and focus key informant interviews. The and the RC constituents. In Example 5b, the matrix is ti ɲa interview methods used were rapid and anonymous surveys “we saw,” the pivot is teebʊlʊ, and the RC is a-ni da la“which interviews and sociolinguistic interviews (Labov, 1966; you bought.” I propose that Dagbanli relative constructions Milroy & Gordon, 2003). My personal intuition as a native are characterized by the use of the “relative pronouns” ŋun or speaker complemented the information I put together from ni and clause-final determiners maa/la (see Fiedler & the unstructured interview. Schwarz, 2005; Hiraiwa, 2007; Sulemana, 2012). Vries To elicit the data, rapid and anonymous surveys were used (2002) observes that if the pivot is spelled out inside the rela- tive clause, the construction is head internal: [matrix . . . [RC to collect the initial data, while sociolinguistic interviews were . . . NP . . . ] . . . . In this case, the matrix contains the gap, used on one-on-one exchanges between the researcher and the Inusah 3 which is filled by the whole relative construction (as illus- d. Presence of relative pronoun: yes/no trated in Example 5) or—if RC is preposed—by a demon- e. Presence of complementizer: yes/no strative construction (a correlative construction). Vries f. Presence of resumptive pronoun: yes/no (2002) views that, “variation concerning the position and g. Hierarchical position of head: externally/internally content of the gap is expected, since there are different strate- headed RCs gies to cope with the dimensionality problem that (4ii) poses h. Linear order of head and RC: head initial/final (i.e. the pivot must be in two sentences at once)” (p. 2). relatives An additional essential property of relative clauses which i. Inflectional completeness of RC: finite/participial Vries (2002) noted, “the semantic θ-role and syntactic role that relatives the pivot constituent has in the relative clause, are in principle j. Position of Det w.r.t. N and RC: initial/middle/final independent of its roles in the matrix clause” (p. 2). This is k. Position of (case) markers, if any: on N, on N and briefly illustrated in Example 6 where paʔ-a “woman” is the RC. (cf. Vries, 2002, p. 3) pivot and the experiencer in the main clause (paʔ-a la kpia “the woman is dead”) and patient in the relative (paʔ-a-so a-ni In this article, I will briefly illustrate the contrasts between ŋme la “the woman whom you hit.”). Syntactically, it is a sub- relative clause patterns that can be found in Dagbanli accord- ject in the main clause and direct object in the subordinate. ing to the differences mentioned by Vries (2002) models. These models are illustrated in the Examples 7 to 17. Example 6 Kind of modification/relation. These are RC forms that show paʔa-so a-ni ŋme la kpia restrictive, appositive, and degree: woman 2sg.rel hit.perf Det die.perf “The woman whom you hit is dead” Example 7 In Example 6, the gap in the RC representing paʔa-so a. Ali ɲa ʧiʧa so ŋʊn bi paasi teesi la “woman” is both semantically and syntactically independent Ali see.perf teacher pro rel neg pass.perf exam Det “Ali saw the teacher who did not pass the exam.” of its roles in the main clause. Languages can restrict the number of available internal roles, that is, they can be scaled b. Ali ɲa ʧiʧa maa,ŋʊn bi paasi teesi la differently on a grammatical function hierarchy (Bakker & Ali see.perf teacher Det rel neg pass.perf exam Det Hengeveld, 2000; Keenan & Comrie, 1977; Lehmann, 1984, “Ali saw the teacher, who did not pass the exam.” p. 219) cited in (Vries, 2002) who, however, mentioned that in many languages prepositional objects and lower functions c. *Ali ɲa kᴐm din ha be lᴐʔ-ʊ maa ni are not possible relative positions. There are also language- Ali see.perf water rel pro copula pot Det loc dependent constraints that have to do with the possibility of “Ali saw the water that there was in the pot.” recovering the function of the relative “gap” (Givón, 1984). Example 7a shows RC modification as restrictive without a Parametric Variation comma triggered by the pronoun so. The presence of the pro- noun calls for the restricted RC to identify who the object is, Vries’s Model of RC Types where Example 7b is appositive with a comma separating the Vries (2002) observes that differences between relative main clause from the RC that postmodifies without restric- clauses can be found on any imaginable aspect of the con- tion. This occurs in the language because the definite article struction based on the RC models of sample pattern. He maa identifies the object with or without the RC. The mentions that “231 relative strategies put together from 176 Example 7c is ungrammatical because degree relative rela- languages around the world. They are compiled from typo- tion does not occur in the language. Vries (1998) notes that a logical data in Peranteau (1972), Keenan and Comrie relative clause can be semantically restrictive, appositive (1977), Downing (1978), Comrie (1981), Givón (1984), (nonrestrictive), or maximalizing. Lehmann (1984), Keenan (1985), Smits (1988), and Culy (1990) cited in Vries (2002, p. 3).”The models are presented Hierarchical status of RC. These are RC forms that are embed- as follows: ded within DP or it is correlative. a. Kind of modification/relation: restrictive, appositive, Example 8 degree b. Hierarchical status of RC: embedded within deter- Adam ŋʊn da bu-a maa kana kpe miner phrase (DP), correlative name rel buy.perf goat.sg Det come.perf loc c. Presence of head: headed/free relatives “Adam who bought the goat came here.” 4 SAGE Open Example 8 shows that the RC is an embedded clause that is Presence/absence of resumptive pronoun found within the DP or the NP “Adam,” the subject of the Example 12 sentence. The relative clause postmodifies the subject “Adam” and forms part of the DP or the NP. This shows the a. bi-so ŋʊn zu baa maa ʧaŋ-ja hierarchical status of RC as an embedded clause within DP child rel steal.perf dog Det go.perf or NP in Dagbanli. “The child who stole the dog has gone” b. *bi-so ŋʊn zu baa maa n ʧaŋ-ja child rel steal.perf dog Det 3sg go.perf Presence/absence of head “The child who stole the dog has gone” Example 9 The data in Example 12 show that Dagbanli does not have a. Azima ju pɨn-ʃɛŋa ni ti o maa resumptive pronouns as a feature of relative clauses. Inserting Azima like.perf presents.pro rel give.perf 3sg. Det “Azima liked the presents which I gave to her.” a resumptive pronoun renders a construction ungrammatical b. Azima ju ni to-o ʃɛli maa as in Example 12b. Azima like.perf rel give.perf.3sg pro Det “Azima liked what I gave to her.” Hierarchical position of head Example 13 Example 9a shows a headed relative clause in Dagbanli with the presence of a head noun pɨn-ʃɛŋa “presents” postmodi- a. wahʊ-so doo maa ni da-la ɲala wahʊ viɛli fied by the RC while Example 9b shows a free relative with Horse.pro man Det. rel buy.perf Cop horse good the absence of a head noun that is postmodified by the RC. “The horse that the man bought was a good horse.” This shows that some RCs in Dagbanli can occur with or b. doo maa ni da wahʊ-so la ɲala waɣ viɛli without a head. man Det rel buy.perf horse.pro Det cop horse good “The horse that the man bought was a good horse.” Presence/absence of relative pronoun The data in Example 13 show that, in Dagbanli, both HIRC Example 10 (Example 13a) and HERC (Example 13b) occur in clause constructions. This is discussed in Example 21 in this a. Azima kaagi ji-li ʃɛli ni da la article. Azima visit.perf house pro rel buy.perf Det “Azima visited the house which I bought.” Linear order of head and RC b. Azima kaagi ji-li la Azima visit.perf house Det Example 14 “Azima visited the house which I bought.” a. n labi bʊkʊ ʃɛli a- ni ti-ma maa Example 10a shows the presence of a relative pronoun ni in 3sg lose.perf book some 2sg.rel give.perf.1sg Det a clause, whereas Example 10b shows its [ni] absence. This “I have lost the book you gave me” means that it is possible to have the presence of a relative b. a- ni ti ma bʊkʊ ʃɛli maa n labi-li 2sg.rel give.perf 1sg book pro Det 1sg lose.perf.3sg pronoun or without it in a clause structure in Dagbanli “The book which you gave me is lost.” depending on the context. The Example 14a shows a postnominal RC where the RC Presence/absence of complementizer occurs after the pivot, whereas Example 14b shows a pre- Example 11 nominal RC construction where the RC occurs before the pivot. I, therefore, agree on the fact that Dagbanli has both a. Azima kaagi ji-li ʃɛli ni da la postnominal word order of [N . . . RC . . . D] and pronominal Azima visit.perf house some rel buy.perf Det word order of [RC . . . N . . . D]. “Azima visited the house which I bought.” b. Azima kaagi ji-li la Inflectional completeness of RC Azima visit.perf house Det “Azima visited the house which I bought.” Example 15 The data in Example 11 show that a clause can show the bʊkʊ ʃɛli a-ni ti ma la ʧaʔɨ-ja presence/absence of a complementizer and still serve the book pro 2sg.rel give.perf 2sg.obj Det tear.perf intended purpose or meaning. “The book which you gave to me has been torn up.” Inusah 5 Example 15 shows that Dagbanli inflectional completeness The data above agree with Fiedler and Schwarz’s assertion in of RC occurs where Dagbanli marks for both participial RC Example 18 as illustrated on Examples 1, 3, 6, 7, 12, 13, and and finite RC. It shows that the same lexical verb marks for 16. It is confirmed from the data that the determiner can only both participial and finite in the language. occur in RC clause final as shown in Example 16 and almost in all the clauses in the data. Fiedler and Schwarz (2005) Position of determiner with respect to N and RC (initial, middle, further explain and final) . . . One of the RC types is restricted to cases in which the Example 16 antecedent has subject function within the RC. Apart from the two features mentioned above, it is formed with the help of a a. n mini doo-so ŋun mi-a maa n tɔʔɨsɨ disjunctive pronoun in the subject slot which follows the head 1sg conj man-pro rel know.perf Det 1sg.speak.perf and fulfills here the function of a relative pronoun. The other “I spoke with the man who knows you.” RC type occurs only with non-subjects as relativized heads b. *n mini doo-so *maa ŋun mi-a ntɔʔɨ and makes use of post-subjectival particle n(i) marking also 3sg. conj man Det rel know.perf 1sgspeak.perf some other subordinated clauses. In this head-internal RC “I spoke with the man who knows you.” type the head is either retained in its postverbal slot (cf. the circumnominal ex. 20a) or it is moved to the initial position of The determiner can only occur in final position with respect the relative clause (cf. the postnominal ex20b). (Fiedler & to N and RC in a construction as in Example 14a, but Schwarz, 2005, p. 125). Example 14b is ungrammatical because the determiner can- not occur before the relative pronoun. The determiner only They presented the data below as evidence to support their occurs in final position in RC but not in both medial and explanation: initial. With nouns, it also occurs in word final like the RC. Subject RC Position of (case) markers, if any Example 17 Example 19 a. bi-so ŋʊn zu baa la ʧaŋ-ja. do-so ŋun ʧaŋ maaɲa-la nzo Child-pro rel steal.perf dog Det go.perf. man-IND:CL 3sg.DISJ go DET COP-FM 1sg friend “The child who stole the dog has gone” “The man who has left is my friend.” (cf. Vries, 2002, p. 3) (cf. Fiedler & Schwarz, 2005, p. 125) The position of case marking in Dagbanli is possible because Non-subject they are used as relative clause markers as illustrated in Example 20 Example 17. “When a pronoun occupies a position in which we would have expected an unpronounced copy of a wh- a. a-ni ŋme do-so maa nya-la n zo constituent we refer to it as a resumptive pronoun” Haegeman 2sg-CNJ hit man-IND:CL DET COP-FM 1sg friend (2006, p. 364, cited in Sulemana, 2012). “The man whom you have hit is my friend.” b. do-so a-ni ŋme maa nya-la n zo man-IND:CL 2sg-CNJ hit DET COP-FM 1sg friend Generalization “The man whom you have hit is my friend.” (cf. Fiedler & From the Parametric variation of RC, the data show that Schwarz 2005, p. 126) Dagbanli is an subejct verb object (SVO) language which does not permit all the possible patterns of RC as marked The data presented in Examples 6, 7. 12, 13, 14, and 16 ungrammatical in some of the patterns. According to Fiedler confirm the generalization by Fiedler and Schwarz (2005; and Schwarz (2005), Dagbanli has two RC types at its dis- p. 125). Hiraiwa (2007) noted that “[C]ross-linguistically, posal which share the following features: HIRCs are roughly classified into two types: the nominal- ization-type and the D-type” (see Hiraiwa, 2005, p. 2). Example 18 He explained the nominalization-type HIRCs are relative clauses where the entire relative clauses are nominalized (i) The head is represented by so “an indefinite noun class by a nominalizing suffix or a complementizer. On the pronoun” that forms a compound with the nominal root or it is contrary, the D-type HIRCs use an external determiner used alone, instead of a nominalizer/C. This is illustrated in Example (ii) Determiner máá (sometimes lá) that is added to the end of the RC. (p. 125) 21: 6 SAGE Open Table 1. Absolute Property of Relative Clause Types. Property Postnominal Prenominal Circumnominal Correlative Internal head No No Yes Yes Nominalized Yes Yes Yes No Note. cf. Vries (2002, p. 5). Table 2. Scalar Properties of Relative Clause Types (based on Lehmann, 1984). Scale Prenominal Circumnominal Postnominal Correlative Nominalization phenomena Strong Medium Weak Relative elements Gap Relative affix Relative particle rel./dem.pronoun Note. cf. Vries (2002, p. 5). Example 21 c. circumnominal relatives[S-matrix . . . [ RC . . . N . . . ] . . . ] d. correlatives[S-matrix[RC ( . . . )N . . . ] [ S-matrix . . . (Dem) . . . ]. (cf. Vries, 2002, p. 5) a. Nominalization-Type: [ SUBJ OBJ V-Nml/C ]RC b. D-Type: [ [ SUBJ V OBJ ] D ]RC. (cf. Hiraiwa, 2007, p. 2) Each type has a headed and a free variant which has been shown for postnominal relative clauses in Example 14. The Hiraiwa (2007) again mentions, “[N]ot every Gur language data in Examples 14, 19, 20, and 22 show that Dagbanli has allows in-situ HIRCs. For example, Bulı, Kabiye, Moore, and possible RC patterns that are postnominal and prenominal in Dagbani allow D-type in-situ HIRCs as well as what looks like a sentence. This is exemplified extensively in Lehmann HERCs” (p. 3). He gave this example to support his point: (1984, cited in Vries, 2002, p. 5). Some important absolute Example 22 and scalar differences between the four types are summa- rized in Tables 1 and 2. Dagbani: (Peterson, 1974) As illustrated in (14) and (22) above, circumnominal relatives and correlatives have an internal head. The former type is a. [n ni puhi saan-so la] chaŋya nominalized, i.e. it is a DP (see e.g. Culy, 1990)—hence there 1Sg. ni greeted stranger-Spec.Id D has-gone can be an external case marker or determiner. Thus only “The stranger who I greeted has gone.” (cf. Hiraiwa, 2007, p. 3) correlatives are bare sentences, which are almost always left- adjoined to the matrix clause. (Vries, 2002, p. 5) b. [saan-so n ni puhi la ] chaŋya stranger-Spec.Id. 1Sg.ni greeted D has-gone “Prenominal relatives show strong nominalization phe- “The stranger who I greeted has gone.” (cf. Hiraiwa, 2007, p. 3) nomena often with nominalizing affix, there can be temporal and modal limitations, etc. ” (Vries, 2002, p. 5) e.g. (15) The Example 22 also confirmed the data in Example 13 which above. Although postnominal relatives are the most com- showed the Hierarchical position of head RC type. Bodomo and mon, the other types occur in different language families Hiraiwa (2004) also argue, “[c]rucially, Dagaare does not allow across the world (Vries, 2002, p. 5). This is illustrated in Head-Internal Relative Clauses (HIRC) unlike some other Gur Dagbanli in Examples 14 and 20. languages Buli (Hiraiwa, 2003, 2004), Moore (Peterson, 1974; Tellier, 1989), Dagbani (Wilson 1963), where the relativized head noun can remain in the original position” (p. 55). RC in Dagbanli RC in Dagbanli is constructed with an obligatory head and Main Types of Relative Clauses a relative pronoun. Olawsky (1999) observes that another type of subordination in Dagbanli is the relative construc- According to Vries (2002), there are four main types of rela- tion and explains that the relative pronouns are of com- tive clauses as illustrated below: plex nature, as they consist of two elements; the first drawn from the set of indefinite pronouns whereas the Example 23 second element is taken from the set of emphatic pro- a. postnominal relatives [S-matrix . . . [N RC] . . . ] nouns. Dagbanli RC has the following salient features b. prenominal relatives [S-matrix . . . [RC N] . . . ] illustrated in Example 24: Inusah 7 Example 24 The ungrammatical sentences in Example 26b provide evi- dence that Dagbanli has an invariant relative clause comple- i. A head/antecedent NP mentizer whose function is to introduce the RC as illustrated ii. An obligatory relative clause marker maa/la in Example 26b. iii. An indefinite noun class pronoun so iv. A clause-final determiner maa/la Restrictive Versus Nonrestrictive Relative Clauses v. Both animate subject and inanimate subject In English, the two types of relative clauses differ in both From the Dagbanli data presented in this article, I show that their morphosyntax and semantics. Phonologically, nonre- Dagbanli RC has all the features described in Example 24. strictive relative clauses are “pronounced with a comma into- The data illustrated in Examples 25a and 25b, therefore, indi- nation, i.e., with pauses after the head and the relative clause. cate that Dagbanli RC shares all the features stated above. Restrictives do not have this comma intonation (Comrie, 1981). This can be seen in the following English examples: Example 25 Example 27 a. bi-a so ŋʊn zu baa la ʧaŋ-ja child pro rel steal.perf dog Det go.perf a. Students, who study hard, do well in their exams. “The child who stole the dog is gone” b. Students who study hard do well in their exams. (cf. Saah, 2010, p. 92) b. su-a ʃɛli din pa teebʊlʊ zʊʔʊ maa kabiya knife pro rel be table.sg head Det break.perf Example 27a has a nonrestrictive relative clause as indicated “The table which was on the table is broken.” by the commas. Fabb (1990, p. 57, cited in Saah, 2010, p. 101) also asserts, “an RR[C] modifies its host, while an The Examples 25a and 25b show both head/antecedent NP NRR[C] does not,” and that the NRRC “has no syntactic (bi-a “child,” su-a “knife”) and animate subject bi-a as well relation to its host/antecedent.” Watters (2000, p. 225, cited as inanimate subject su-a in Dagbanli RC. They also show in Saah, 2010, p. 102) asserts that the distinction between obligatory relative clause markers ŋun and ni and both have restrictive and nonrestrictive relative clauses “is generally clause-final determiners maa in Example 25b or la in not marked in African languages.” The closest we can come Example 25a. Example 25a shows indefinite noun class pro- to an appositive reading of relative clauses is when they are noun so for animate subject while Example 25b presents ʃɛli extraposed. for inanimate subject. Saah (2010, p. 106) concludes that Akan relative clauses are essentially restrictive in nature, this is confirmed in Aboh and James (2010, p. 28), and in Dagbanli one of the RC types The Relative Complementizer is restricted to cases in which the antecedent has subject English, for example, uses “case-marked” relative pro- function within the RC as in Example 28 nouns which “are derived historically from case-marked interrogative pronouns such as who, whom, when, etc” Example 28 (Givón, 1993, p. 12, cited in Saah, 2010, p. 93). Issah (2013) notes that Dagbanli uses the particles ŋun/ni to do-so ŋun chaŋ maa ɲɛla n zo introduce RC. The particle comes after the head NP, and it man- IND:CL 3sg.DISJ go DET COP-FM 1sg friend “The man who has left is my friend.” (cf. Fiedler & Schwarz selects a sentence/clause as its complement. This is ana- 2005, p. 125) lyzed as a relative complementizer (see Saah, 2010). The relative complementizer is compulsory in Dagbanli because when it is deleted, the sentence is rendered ungrammatical. Conclusion This is shown in Example 26: The article explores the possible patterns of relative clauses in Dagbanli and presents a coherent classification. It shows Example 26 that the two RC types in Dagbanli are characterized by fea- tures represented by so “an indefinite noun class pronoun” a. bi-asoŋʊn kana kpe maa da-la loori and clause-final determiners maa and la. It shows that child pro rel.cop come.perfloc Detbuy.perf car “The child who came here bought a car” Dagbanli allows D-type in situ HIRC as well HERC as pre- sented in the data. It also has a word order of [N . . . RC . . . b. *bi-so kana kpe maa da-la loori D]. The article illustrates the contrasts between relative child come.perf loc Det buy.perf car clause patterns in Dagbanli according to the differences “The child who came here bought a car” between relative clauses that can be found on any imaginable 8 SAGE Open aspect of construction based on the RC models described in Givón, T. (1993). English grammar: A function-based introduction (Vol. II) Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins. Vries (2002). From the Parametric variation of RC, the arti- Haegeman, L. (2006). Thinking syntactically: A Guide to argumen- cle shows that Dagbanli is an SVO language which does not tation and analysis. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. permit all the possible patterns of RC. Hiraiwa, K. (2003). Relativization in Buli. In M. Kenstowicz (Ed.), The article discussed RC formation in Dagbanli and con- Studies in Buli grammar (Working papers on endangered and cludes that RC in the Dagbanli has all the possible features less familiar languages) (pp. 45-84). MIT Working Papers in discussed in Saah (2010) except one feature—a resumptive Linguistics. pronoun in the relativized position. I aso argue that ŋun Hiraiwa, K. (2004, January). Head-internal relativization in Gur. “who” and ni “which” are particles used to introduce relative Paper presented at the 78th annual meeting of the Linguistic clauses in Dagbanli. It also discussed possible relevant RC Society of America. patterns in Dagbanli that reflect Vries’s (2002) approach Hiraiwa, K. (2005). Locality of EPP and its morphosyntax in adopted in this article. It is shown that the Position of B‘ul‘ı. In The proceedings of the NELS (Vol. 35, pp. 267-278). Amherst, MA: GLSA. Determiner with respect to N and RC, the determiner can Hiraiwa, K. (2007). The head-internal relativization parameter only occur in final position respect to N and RC in a con- in Gur: D and its typological implications. Victoria, British struction but the determiner cannot occur before the relative Columbia, Canada: University of Victoria. pronoun. Almost all the models tested are relevant in Hudu, F. (2010). Dagbanli tongue-root harmony: A formal account Dagbanli showing the presence of head headed/free rela- with ultrasound investigation. PHD Thesis: The University of tives, relative pronoun, and complementizer except the pres- BritishColumbia. ence of resumptive pronoun which seems not to occur in the Hudu, F. (2012). Focus particles in Dagbani: A descriptive analysis. language. Journal of West African Languages, 39(1), 97-129 Issah, S. A. (2013). Focus and constituent question formation in Declaration of Conflicting Interests Dagbani. Ghana Journal of Linguistics, 2(1), 39-62. Keenan, E. (1985). Relative clauses. In T. Shopen (Ed.), Language The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect Typology and Syntactic Description: Vol. II. Complex construc- to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. tions (pp. 141-170). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Funding Keenan, E., & Cormie, B. (1977). Noun phrase accessibility and The author(s) received no financial support for the research and/or universal grammar. Linguistic Inquiry, 8, 62-100. authorship of this article. Labov, W. (1966). The social stratification of English in New York City. Arlington, VA: Center for Applied Linguistics. Lehmann, C. (1984). Der Relativsatz. Tübingen, Germany: Gunter References Narr Verlag. Aboh, E. O., & James, E. (Eds.). (2010). Topics in Kwa Syntax: Milroy, L., & Gordon, M. (2003). Sociolinguistics: Methods and Studies in natural language and linguistic theory. New York, Interpretation. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. NY: Springer. Naden, T. (1988). The Gur languages. In M. E. Kropp Dakubu Bakker, D., & Hengeveld, K. (2000). Relatieve zinnen in typolo- (Ed.), The languages of Ghana. 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SAGE Open – SAGE
Published: Mar 23, 2017
Keywords: Dagbanli; Gur; ŋun; ni; so
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