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. 179–201
Noun-modifying constructions and relativization in the central and western Caucasus
Languages of the Nakh-Daghestanian family in the central and eastern Caucasus uniformly use gap strategies for relativization and GNMCC’s, despite different contact histories. Languages to the west and southwest (West Caucasian, Kartvelian) are very different, using relative pronouns and finite verbs. Despite long contact there is almost no accommodation of eastern and western types to each other. This sharp typological divide is a continuation of a larger Eurasian divide between western languages, which use finite relativization with relative pronouns, and eastern ones, which use participles and gaps. The stability of the divide in the Caucasus and its evident antiquity there are testimony to the non-Sprachbund status of the Caucasus.
Keywords: Nakh-Daghestanian, West Caucasian, Kartvelian, relativization, finite
Published online: 28 February 2017
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