a question about internally headed relative clauses

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socio4016
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a question about internally headed relative clauses

Post by socio4016 »

I have read that some languages use internally headed relative clauses; so, for example, instead of saying "the man that we met yesterday went home today"; they position the shared noun in a relative clause, so they use a structure that literally translates into English as "we met the man yesterday went home today"; but I am wondering how does case declension work in those languages? I know some of those languages have cases (for instance I know Tibetan and Navajo use internally headed relative clauses and Tibetan has cases as well); but what I am wondering is how do they inflect the head noun so that its role in both the relative clause and the main clause is clear? it is easy to conceive of situations in which the noun although occurring in both clauses does not play the same role in them both; so how do languages with internally headed relative clauses express both cases? I was thinking of adding them to my conlang but would like to know they work so I can have a model.
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Re: a question about internally headed relative clauses

Post by Salmoneus »

I'm not sure why you're asking this specifically about internally-headed relatives, since exactly the same problem occurs with externally-headed relatives as well.

In English, for example, the man in the sentence I saw the man that bit you is both the subject of the relative and the object of the matrix. Whereas in I saw the man that you bit, he is the object of both clauses. So how is English able to mark both these functions? How would a more case-marking language do it?

There are various ways to do this. The most obvious include: using a case-markable pronoun in the second clause; repeating the (case-markable) noun in the second clause; using a (case-markable) generic noun in the second clause; having no noun in the second clause and leaving a gap (the case of the missing noun is clear either from word order or from inherent argument structure); marking the role of the noun on the verb in the second clause; marking the role of the noun on the verb in the first clause (for these two options, the marking can be regular agreement, or voice, or something like switch-reference, or something unique to relativisation constructions); marking the role of the noun on a particle; eliminating ambiguity by limiting the roles that relativised nouns can have; or just leaving it to context.

This is all exactly the same with internally-headed relatives, except that the 'second' clause is now the matrix and the 'first' clause is the relative, rather than vice versa. [Except that with internally-headed relatives, a third question arises, which is which argument in the relative is actually the head anyway, but that's not related to case-marking]


In Tibetan, for example, internally-headed relatives appear to identify the head through restrictions - specifically, the head is always the noun in the absolutive - then mark the head with its role in the relative (i.e. absolutive case), and indicate its role in the matrix through gapping. [most relatives in Tibetan aren't internally-headed].
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Re: a question about internally headed relative clauses

Post by socio4016 »

what I mean is that internally headed relative clauses have no relative pronoun on which to put the case declension or place to put a gap; so do they rely on the context and subject matter (and possibly grammatical agreement on other words) to establish the role of the head noun in the relative clauses? or do they rely on that to determine the role of the head noun in the main clause and mark the case within the relative clause on the head noun itself? or is there somewhere else the case manifests. my understanding of internally headed relative clauses is rather fuzzy at the moment; but part of the goal of this question is to make it less fuzzy. is the head noun itself implied only through context and subject matter?
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Re: a question about internally headed relative clauses

Post by Salmoneus »

socio4016 wrote: 03 Jul 2022 03:42 what I mean is that internally headed relative clauses have no relative pronoun on which to put the case declension or place to put a gap
Hold up there!

It's perfectly possible to construct apparently internally-headed relative clauses (IHRCs) with relative pronouns in them (modifying or in apposition to the head). Some people claim that Greek has them. And although the IHRC contains no gap, it's possible for the matrix to have a gap. Or apparently so, at least.

Now, whether these are real is a matter of definitions. IHRCs tend to be a definition of last resort - people take any opportunity to deny them. You could say that the presence of the pronoun by definition makes the clause not an IHRC (perhaps a headless relative, is how people would probably rationalise examples in Europe). You could say that the presence of a gap makes the matrix no longer a matrix, and say that you've now got some sort of correlative/paratactic construction (wherever you draw the line between them). Personally I think linguists should be more interested in what languages actually do than in which sacred box to place them.
; so do they rely on the context and subject matter (and possibly grammatical agreement on other words) to establish the role of the head noun in the relative clauses? or do they rely on that to determine the role of the head noun in the main clause and mark the case within the relative clause on the head noun itself?
Within the IHRC, the noun has the form it would have in a normal clause. If nouns have explicit case marking in normal clauses, they will have the same marking in the IHRC. In general, IHRCs are much like independent sentences plonked down into the middle of another sentence.

[At least, traditionally. Traditionally, only SOVs are allowed to be IHRCs, so any marking on the right of the V still leaves the SOV the same as in an independent clause; but now people have started suggesting that this is just a research error, that it's just that IHRCs are easier to prove in SOV languages (because the 'O' is in the middle of the clause so clearly isn't external to it, whereas in SVO there's an ambiguity between [[SV]O] and [SVO]). If this is true, it raises the possibility of an SVO IHRC with marking on the V that would make the IHRC no longer identical to an independent clause. So is that possible, or should we prohibit this by definition? Depends what you mean by 'IHRC', and which things are symptoms and which are criteria...]

The role of the head in the matrix clause is then generally indicated by word order or by case-marking on the verb within the IHRC. [IHRCs are often a lot like nominalisations].
or is there somewhere else the case manifests. my understanding of internally headed relative clauses is rather fuzzy at the moment; but part of the goal of this question is to make it less fuzzy. is the head noun itself implied only through context and subject matter?
No, the head noun is internal to the relative clause.



One other thing to bear in mind is that as most IHRC languages also have EHRCs, it's possible and common for IHRCs to only be allowed (or at least to be much more or less likely) in certain restrictive circumstances, reducing the issue of ambiguity from the start.
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Re: a question about internally headed relative clauses

Post by socio4016 »

thanks for providing more clarity; i was aware of the pronoun in the matrix clause method; I just was unsure if it was an internally headed relative clause or not; when I said "is the head noun itself implied only through context and subject matter?" that was a mistake; I omitted a couple words in that sentence; what I meant to say is "if the relative clause has multiple nouns; is it only implied through context and subject matter which one is the head noun?"
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Re: a question about internally headed relative clauses

Post by Salmoneus »

socio4016 wrote: 03 Jul 2022 23:17 thanks for providing more clarity; i was aware of the pronoun in the matrix clause method; I just was unsure if it was an internally headed relative clause or not
So far as I can see, it's not traditionally considered so, but I'm not sure that's really logical.
; when I said "is the head noun itself implied only through context and subject matter?" that was a mistake; I omitted a couple words in that sentence; what I meant to say is "if the relative clause has multiple nouns; is it only implied through context and subject matter which one is the head noun?"
This can be indicated through affixes on the verb, through case/voice where only a certain noun (often the unmarked-case one) can be the head, or through word order.
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Re: a question about internally headed relative clauses

Post by socio4016 »

Salmoneus wrote: 04 Jul 2022 00:13
socio4016 wrote: 03 Jul 2022 23:17 thanks for providing more clarity; i was aware of the pronoun in the matrix clause method; I just was unsure if it was an internally headed relative clause or not
So far as I can see, it's not traditionally considered so, but I'm not sure that's really logical.
; when I said "is the head noun itself implied only through context and subject matter?" that was a mistake; I omitted a couple words in that sentence; what I meant to say is "if the relative clause has multiple nouns; is it only implied through context and subject matter which one is the head noun?"
This can be indicated through affixes on the verb, through case/voice where only a certain noun (often the unmarked-case one) can be the head, or through word order.
interesting; can anyone here provide me with some examples of how internally headed relative clauses work in real life languages? I am trying to learn a lot more about them before trying to use any in a conlang that I do want to have them; word for word translations of sentences that incorporate them would also be usefull
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Re: a question about internally headed relative clauses

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Salmoneus wrote: 03 Jul 2022 21:16Hold up there!

It's perfectly possible to construct apparently internally-headed relative clauses (IHRCs) with relative pronouns in them (modifying or in apposition to the head). Some people claim that Greek has them. And although the IHRC contains no gap, it's possible for the matrix to have a gap. Or apparently so, at least.

Now, whether these are real is a matter of definitions. IHRCs tend to be a definition of last resort - people take any opportunity to deny them. You could say that the presence of the pronoun by definition makes the clause not an IHRC (perhaps a headless relative, is how people would probably rationalise examples in Europe).
I started reading Boethius's On the Trinity (in Latin) a little, having this comment in mind, and a clause from the preface jumped at me...

... {ex intimīs sūmpta philosophiae disciplīnīs} {novōrum verbōrum significātiōnibus} vēlō, ...
{out.of deepest.F.ABL.PL taken.NEUT.ACC.PL philosophy.GEN.SG topics.ABL.PL} {new.NEUT.GEN.PL word.GEN.PL meanings.ABL.PL} cover.1SG
literally, 'I cover things taken out of the deepest topics of philosophy with meanings of new words'
less literally, 'I... wrap up the ideas I draw from the deep questionings of philosophy in new and unaccustomed words...' (tr. by S. J. Tester)

While it'd probably be a stretch to call the participial phrase that this starts with (ex...disciplīnīs) an IHRC, I was surprised by how similar this is to one. Ex intimīs ... philosophiae disciplīnīs modifies the head participle sūmpta 'things taken', which is not found at an edge but in the middle of the phrase. Sūmpta is accusative as it's the direct object of vēlō 'I cover', but semantically it's basically the same as quae sūmpsī 'what I've taken', which would form a "headless relative clause" that could still be surrounded by ex intimīs ... philosophiae disciplīnīs all the same:

{ex intimīs quae sūmpsī philosophiae disciplīnīs} ...

...where there'd be a gap in the matrix clause, as quae is accusative for IHRC-internal reasons (as the object of sūmpsī 'I've taken'). And yes, the syntactic role of this modified phrase would be ambiguous (is it a direct object of vēlō? an indirect one? an instrumental adjunct?), although you could optionally do away with the ambiguity by adding a pronoun in the matrix clause like illa or ea (the "pronoun in the matrix clause" method).

Matrix clause gaps are normal for "headless relative clauses" in Latin, but it's rarely a problem as they're mostly just used in an ambiguous way for the subject and direct object syntactic roles, only on occasion the dative. And they can be optionally disambiguated by the "pronoun in the matrix clause" method anyway.

illūmināre hīs quī in tenebrīs et in umbrā mortis sedent (Vulgate, Luke 1:79)
illuminate.INF these.DAT.PL who.NOM.PL in darkness.ABL.PL and in shadow.ABL death.GEN sit.3PL
'To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death'

illūmināre quī in tenebrīs et in umbrā mortis sedent
(acceptable modification with "hīs" removed, leaving a gap in the matrix clause; is "quī...sedent" now the subject of illūmināre or its indirect object as it originally was? context determines it)

Okay, I'm not sure where I was going with all this, but I did find it interesting that there are things in Latin that could be called IHRCs, and I imagine the argument for (ancient?) Greek must go along similar lines.
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Re: a question about internally headed relative clauses

Post by socio4016 »

very interisting so far;
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Re: a question about internally headed relative clauses

Post by Salmoneus »

socio4016 wrote: 04 Jul 2022 02:07 interesting; can anyone here provide me with some examples of how internally headed relative clauses work in real life languages?
In Pesh, IHRCs have the syntax of independent clauses, with AOV order. The head must be a subject, object or possessor in - otherwise, an EHRC is used instead.

In the paper I'm looking at, I don't see any clear way of knowing which argument in the clause is the head, except to say that it is usually the subject (except that it seems to be from the examples more likely to be the subject's possessor if one is present?). However, semantic clues here are assisted by polypersonal (subject and object) marking on the matrix verb. I guess that it works by assuming the subject (or its possessor) is its head, unless this is semantically implausible or ruled out by the agreement on the verb. [it's possible that the use of pronouns is also relevant? I'm not sure whether pronouns can be the heads, which would offer an easy way to avoid ambiguities].

The role of the head in the matrix, meanwhile, is shown by case marking on the verb. The language usually has nom-acc alignment for verbal agreement, but optional (depending on focus) erg-abs or tripartite (depending on dialect) for case marking (cases being marked by phrase-final clitics). There is also optional topicalisation, with its own clitic. Relative clause verbs, however, take nom-acc marking, using a nominative marker that doesn't otherwise appear in the language (derived from but not identical to the topic marker). When the head is the object of the matrix, this is marked either by accusative-marking the relative-clause verb, or by topic-marking it (as well as through agreement on the matrix verb).

Examples:

1.
kórtà i ̃̀nsì tàsàkàkáhrímà kètʃá kìí
[korta ĩnsi tas a-ka-kuh-a-ri]=ma ketʃa Ø-ka-Ø-i
woman medicine 1PRO O3SG-APPL:R-buy-S1SG-PST=NOM yesterday O3SG-make-S3SG-PST
The woman from whom I bought the medicine made it yesterday

So far as I can see nothing explicitly marks that 'woman' is the head (i.e. it could mean "the medicine I bought from the woman made her yesterday"), but this is probably outlawed by a) semantic implausibility, and b) the assumption that the head will be the subject when possible.

The fact that the woman is the subject of the matrix clause is marked explicitly by the nominative case marker -ma on the verb.

2.
pà i ̃̀nsì árwã ́ kàkàkúhrímà ù wã̀ nẽ̀rí
[pa ĩnsi arwã ka-ka-kuh-u-ri]=ma uwã nã-er-i
2PRO medicine man O3PL-APPL:R-buy-S2-PST=NOM quickly go-S3PL-PST
The men from whom you bought the medicine went quickly.

Here, the fact that the head is the men, not the medicine (or you) is made clear not only by semantics, but also by the case agreement on the matrix verb: the -ma suffix shows that the relative head must be the subject of the matrix verb, but the subject of the matrix verb is marked as being a third-person plural, and only the (applicative) object, the men, whose plurality is in turn marked through agreement on the relative verb, fit the bill!

3.
íspáràh tã̀yhúríyó kàtũ̀ʃkáwá
[isparah ta-ãyh -u-ri]=yo katũ ʃ-k-a-wa
machete O1-give.O1/2-S2-PST=INSTR work-K-S1SG-PFV
I work with the machete you gave to me.

Here, the role of the machete in the matrix clause is as an instrument, hence the instrumental case marker on the relative verb. Note that although the head must be the subject, object or possessor OF THE RELATIVE CLAUSE (otherwise an EHRC is used), there is no restriction on its role in the MATRIX clause.


[paper by Chamoreau]
------------

In Hakha Chin, it is most natural for the subject of an IHRC to be the head:

4.
nikumi lothlopa thil abat mi kahmuh
nikum=i lothlo-pa thil a=bat mi ka=hmuh
last.year=LOC farmer-M thing 3S=hang.I REL 1S=see.II
I saw the farmer who hung up the clothes last year.

But the object can be made the head:

5.
nikumi lothlopanih thil abah mi kahmuh
nikum=i lothlo-pa=nih thil a=bah mi ka=hmuh
last.year=LOC farmer-M=ERG thing 3S=hang.II REL 1S=see.II
I saw the clothes that the farmer hung up last year.

As you can see, two things have changed here. One is that the usual egative clitic, -nih, is missing from the subject of a transitive verb in an IHRC if it is also the head; if the clitic is present on the subject, this means that the head must be a non-subject argument. The second thing is that non-subject heads cause the verb to be moved into its Stem II form (here, abat > abah). The choice between Stem I and Stem II appears to be complex, and variability is reported where rules conflict: since Stem II is required for non-subject heads of IHRCs, but Stem I is required when a verb is followed by a negative particle, either Stem I or Stem II may be found in where non-subject heads co-exist with negated verbs.

With ditransitive verbs, some have reported ambiguity as to which object is the head (once the subject has been ruled out), while others insist that it is always unambiguously the direct object. The indirect object may be made the head by fronting it all the way to the left, reportedly with a pause following it - but it is not clear whether this is still an IHRC, or whether it becomes a postnominal relative clause (which otherwise wouldn't occur; the main alternative too IHRCs in Hakha Chin are prenominal EHRCs).

The head can only be a core argument of the verb; to relativise an oblique (a locative, an instrument) an EHRC is required.

The role of the head in the matrix clause appears to be fully marked: if it is the subject of a transiitive verb, the ergative 'nih' follows the relativiser 'mi' (though it's marked as a particle now, not as encliticised); if anything else is the subject of a transitive verb then THAT must be marked with the ergative; and a transitive verb will also agree in person and number with its subject. So ambiguity doesn't easily arise, if at all.

However, there is a restriction here: it is impossible to have a sentence in which the direct object of the verb in the IHRC is the head AND is the subject of a transitive verb in the matrix clause. On the surface, we might think that this was simple a restriction on a sentence type that would otherwise have the ergative marker appear twice; however, apparently this DOES become legal when the IHRC contains a ditransitive verb, so maybe it's more complicated than that, or maybe ditransitives are just rare enough to avoid full internalisation of that rule?

Finally, one more complication: when the head of the IHRC is human and marked with a gender particle, the relativiser may agree with it in gender by itself being followed by the gender particle. This agreement is sometimes obligatory, sometimes preferred, and sometimes purely optional; it's not clear why or when. Except that the conditioning factors also seem related to the replacement of the relativiser by a different form (tu), which, again, isn't obviously predictable without more research.


[paper by Fiego]

----------------------------

Fiego also says that in many languages the identification of the head of an IHRC can be ambiguous, with various strategies used to disambiguate, and points to Basilico 1996 and Hiraiwa 2017 for discussions of this. He gives the example of Diegueño:

6.
xat̩kcok wiːm tucpuc nyiLy
[xat̩kcok-∅ wiːm tuc]-pu-c nyiLy
dog-OBJ rock.COMIT I.hit-DEM-SUBJ black
The rock I hit the dog with was black.
OR:The dog I hit with the rock was black.

Either interpretation is possible. But fronting of the head, with replacement by a pronoun, renders it unambiguous:

7.
[‘wily ‘xat̩-∅ nyi-m ‘tuː]-pu-c nyiLycis
[‘wily ‘xat̩-∅ nyi-m ‘tuː]-pu-c nyiLycis
rock dog-OBJ that-COMIT I.hit-DEM-SUBJ black.indeed
The rock I hit the dog with was black.

[he doesn't mention the other differences between these two sentences so presumably they are incidental?]


--------------------

In Tibetan, IHRCs are only possible when the head is in the absolutive (i.e. is the patient of a transitive, theme of a ditransitive, or subject of an intransitive - and the latter is according to some questionable (perhaps relating to agency/volition?)).


---------------

Just a few examples there.

But with respect, wouldn't it be easier to just google this yourself? There are plenty of language-specific papers on this topic out there, and while I'm sure people here don't mind answering general questions - it's an interesting topic! - you'll probably be able to learn more and faster by doing some reading yourself (feel free to share what you learn!). Languages you could look up that have IHRCs include Japanese (128 million speakers), Punjabi (113 million), Korean (80 million) and Tibetan (8 million).
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Re: a question about internally headed relative clauses

Post by socio4016 »

Salmoneus wrote: 07 Jul 2022 21:34
socio4016 wrote: 04 Jul 2022 02:07 interesting; can anyone here provide me with some examples of how internally headed relative clauses work in real life languages?
In Pesh, IHRCs have the syntax of independent clauses, with AOV order. The head must be a subject, object or possessor in - otherwise, an EHRC is used instead.

In the paper I'm looking at, I don't see any clear way of knowing which argument in the clause is the head, except to say that it is usually the subject (except that it seems to be from the examples more likely to be the subject's possessor if one is present?). However, semantic clues here are assisted by polypersonal (subject and object) marking on the matrix verb. I guess that it works by assuming the subject (or its possessor) is its head, unless this is semantically implausible or ruled out by the agreement on the verb. [it's possible that the use of pronouns is also relevant? I'm not sure whether pronouns can be the heads, which would offer an easy way to avoid ambiguities].

The role of the head in the matrix, meanwhile, is shown by case marking on the verb. The language usually has nom-acc alignment for verbal agreement, but optional (depending on focus) erg-abs or tripartite (depending on dialect) for case marking (cases being marked by phrase-final clitics). There is also optional topicalisation, with its own clitic. Relative clause verbs, however, take nom-acc marking, using a nominative marker that doesn't otherwise appear in the language (derived from but not identical to the topic marker). When the head is the object of the matrix, this is marked either by accusative-marking the relative-clause verb, or by topic-marking it (as well as through agreement on the matrix verb).

Examples:

1.
kórtà i ̃̀nsì tàsàkàkáhrímà kètʃá kìí
[korta ĩnsi tas a-ka-kuh-a-ri]=ma ketʃa Ø-ka-Ø-i
woman medicine 1PRO O3SG-APPL:R-buy-S1SG-PST=NOM yesterday O3SG-make-S3SG-PST
The woman from whom I bought the medicine made it yesterday

So far as I can see nothing explicitly marks that 'woman' is the head (i.e. it could mean "the medicine I bought from the woman made her yesterday"), but this is probably outlawed by a) semantic implausibility, and b) the assumption that the head will be the subject when possible.

The fact that the woman is the subject of the matrix clause is marked explicitly by the nominative case marker -ma on the verb.

2.
pà i ̃̀nsì árwã ́ kàkàkúhrímà ù wã̀ nẽ̀rí
[pa ĩnsi arwã ka-ka-kuh-u-ri]=ma uwã nã-er-i
2PRO medicine man O3PL-APPL:R-buy-S2-PST=NOM quickly go-S3PL-PST
The men from whom you bought the medicine went quickly.

Here, the fact that the head is the men, not the medicine (or you) is made clear not only by semantics, but also by the case agreement on the matrix verb: the -ma suffix shows that the relative head must be the subject of the matrix verb, but the subject of the matrix verb is marked as being a third-person plural, and only the (applicative) object, the men, whose plurality is in turn marked through agreement on the relative verb, fit the bill!

3.
íspáràh tã̀yhúríyó kàtũ̀ʃkáwá
[isparah ta-ãyh -u-ri]=yo katũ ʃ-k-a-wa
machete O1-give.O1/2-S2-PST=INSTR work-K-S1SG-PFV
I work with the machete you gave to me.

Here, the role of the machete in the matrix clause is as an instrument, hence the instrumental case marker on the relative verb. Note that although the head must be the subject, object or possessor OF THE RELATIVE CLAUSE (otherwise an EHRC is used), there is no restriction on its role in the MATRIX clause.


[paper by Chamoreau]
------------

In Hakha Chin, it is most natural for the subject of an IHRC to be the head:

4.
nikumi lothlopa thil abat mi kahmuh
nikum=i lothlo-pa thil a=bat mi ka=hmuh
last.year=LOC farmer-M thing 3S=hang.I REL 1S=see.II
I saw the farmer who hung up the clothes last year.

But the object can be made the head:

5.
nikumi lothlopanih thil abah mi kahmuh
nikum=i lothlo-pa=nih thil a=bah mi ka=hmuh
last.year=LOC farmer-M=ERG thing 3S=hang.II REL 1S=see.II
I saw the clothes that the farmer hung up last year.

As you can see, two things have changed here. One is that the usual egative clitic, -nih, is missing from the subject of a transitive verb in an IHRC if it is also the head; if the clitic is present on the subject, this means that the head must be a non-subject argument. The second thing is that non-subject heads cause the verb to be moved into its Stem II form (here, abat > abah). The choice between Stem I and Stem II appears to be complex, and variability is reported where rules conflict: since Stem II is required for non-subject heads of IHRCs, but Stem I is required when a verb is followed by a negative particle, either Stem I or Stem II may be found in where non-subject heads co-exist with negated verbs.

With ditransitive verbs, some have reported ambiguity as to which object is the head (once the subject has been ruled out), while others insist that it is always unambiguously the direct object. The indirect object may be made the head by fronting it all the way to the left, reportedly with a pause following it - but it is not clear whether this is still an IHRC, or whether it becomes a postnominal relative clause (which otherwise wouldn't occur; the main alternative too IHRCs in Hakha Chin are prenominal EHRCs).

The head can only be a core argument of the verb; to relativise an oblique (a locative, an instrument) an EHRC is required.

The role of the head in the matrix clause appears to be fully marked: if it is the subject of a transiitive verb, the ergative 'nih' follows the relativiser 'mi' (though it's marked as a particle now, not as encliticised); if anything else is the subject of a transitive verb then THAT must be marked with the ergative; and a transitive verb will also agree in person and number with its subject. So ambiguity doesn't easily arise, if at all.

However, there is a restriction here: it is impossible to have a sentence in which the direct object of the verb in the IHRC is the head AND is the subject of a transitive verb in the matrix clause. On the surface, we might think that this was simple a restriction on a sentence type that would otherwise have the ergative marker appear twice; however, apparently this DOES become legal when the IHRC contains a ditransitive verb, so maybe it's more complicated than that, or maybe ditransitives are just rare enough to avoid full internalisation of that rule?

Finally, one more complication: when the head of the IHRC is human and marked with a gender particle, the relativiser may agree with it in gender by itself being followed by the gender particle. This agreement is sometimes obligatory, sometimes preferred, and sometimes purely optional; it's not clear why or when. Except that the conditioning factors also seem related to the replacement of the relativiser by a different form (tu), which, again, isn't obviously predictable without more research.


[paper by Fiego]

----------------------------

Fiego also says that in many languages the identification of the head of an IHRC can be ambiguous, with various strategies used to disambiguate, and points to Basilico 1996 and Hiraiwa 2017 for discussions of this. He gives the example of Diegueño:

6.
xat̩kcok wiːm tucpuc nyiLy
[xat̩kcok-∅ wiːm tuc]-pu-c nyiLy
dog-OBJ rock.COMIT I.hit-DEM-SUBJ black
The rock I hit the dog with was black.
OR:The dog I hit with the rock was black.

Either interpretation is possible. But fronting of the head, with replacement by a pronoun, renders it unambiguous:

7.
[‘wily ‘xat̩-∅ nyi-m ‘tuː]-pu-c nyiLycis
[‘wily ‘xat̩-∅ nyi-m ‘tuː]-pu-c nyiLycis
rock dog-OBJ that-COMIT I.hit-DEM-SUBJ black.indeed
The rock I hit the dog with was black.

[he doesn't mention the other differences between these two sentences so presumably they are incidental?]


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In Tibetan, IHRCs are only possible when the head is in the absolutive (i.e. is the patient of a transitive, theme of a ditransitive, or subject of an intransitive - and the latter is according to some questionable (perhaps relating to agency/volition?)).


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Just a few examples there.

But with respect, wouldn't it be easier to just google this yourself? There are plenty of language-specific papers on this topic out there, and while I'm sure people here don't mind answering general questions - it's an interesting topic! - you'll probably be able to learn more and faster by doing some reading yourself (feel free to share what you learn!). Languages you could look up that have IHRCs include Japanese (128 million speakers), Punjabi (113 million), Korean (80 million) and Tibetan (8 million).
I have been trying to look that up; but am both having some trouble finding them; and also, what I can find is so jargon filled that I cannot understand it; will keep trying though; but seeing if others can explain in terms a bit easier to understand is something I thought would be useful
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