Article published in:Noun-Modifying Clause Constructions in Languages of Eurasia: Rethinking theoretical and geographical boundaries
Edited by Yoshiko Matsumoto, Bernard Comrie and Peter Sells
[Typological Studies in Language 116] 2017
► pp. 105–120
Noun-modifying clauses in Cantonese
Whether relative clauses can be identified in Chinese is a recurrent question. We ask whether relative clauses are distinct from other noun-modifying clause constructions in Cantonese, one of many East Asian languages in which a noun can be preceded by a diverse range of modifying clauses. The relationship between head noun and modifying clause may be a grammatical one, with the head noun being understood as an argument or an adjunct of the modifying clause; or its interpretation may be dependent on semantic and pragmatic factors. We conclude that Cantonese has a General Noun-Modifying Clause Construction as proposed for Japanese (Matsumoto et al., this volume), with relative clauses forming a subset of modifying clauses in which a grammatical relation obtains.
Keywords: Cantonese, relative clauses, noun modification, typology, resumptive pronouns
Published online: 28 February 2017
Chan, Angel Wing-Shan, Matthews, Stephen & Yip, Virginia
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