Free relative clauses in Mam
Noah Elkins, Colin Brown
May 2023

This paper provides a novel description of free relative clauses in Mam (Mayan). In terms of their morphosyntax, free relatives in Mam fall into two types. The first kind is characterized solely by a left-peripheral wh-expression and a gap, and may be interpreted as definite or indefinite. The second kind is marked by a dedicated “free choice" clitic and is associated with inferences of speaker ignorance and/or indifference. Additionally, we show that a proper subset of wh-expressions that occur in content questions may appear in free relatives; however, unlike all of the Mayan languages discussed in Caponigro (2020), ‘why’-free relatives are freely available.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/008132
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of WSCLA 2023
keywords: free relative clauses, relative clauses, content questions, definiteness, semantics, syntax
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