From relative proadverb to general complementizer: The evolution of the Hungarian hogy 'that'
Katalin É. Kiss
December 2021

The declarative complementizer has been claimed to have grammaticalized from a relative pronoun in various Indo-European languages. The source construction is assumed to have been the correlative sentence, see e.g., Axel-Tober (2017) on the Germanic dass/that. The initial phase of the hypothesized process, however, has remained unclear; in the explicative sentence to which e.g. the Germanic that-type complementizers can be traced back (Mary knows that, that Peter is lying), that is already a complementizer base-generated in C rather than a relative pronoun in Spec,CP. This paper analyzes a similar developmental path, that of hogy ‘that’, the Hungarian general complementizer cognate with the relative proadverb hogy ‘how’, whose early stages can be reconstructed more completely. It traces hogy back to a canonical correlative construction, documenting the subsequent stages of its evolution from a relative operator binding a variable in a correlative sentence, via a linker introducing an adjunct clause, to a complementizer subordinating a clausal argument to a matrix predicate.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007588
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: The Linguistic Review
keywords: complementizer; correlative construction; finite subordination; hungarian; verbs of communication, syntax
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