Logo Utrecht University

Syntax Interface Lectures Utrecht


7 May 2018

Anna Volkova (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow)

Subject encoding in participial relative clauses

Participial relative clauses (pRCs) in Meadow Mari (Uralic) allow overt subjects and encode them in a number of ways: (i) with a possessive suffix on the head noun; (ii) with nominative; or (iii) with genitive. The subject of a participle derived with –me can be marked with genitive (all argument types on the animacy hierarchy, AH (1)) or with nominative (only the lower part of the AH, Brykina & Aralova 2012) – cf. (2) & (3). In case of +human nouns, both genitive and nominative are possible (4).

(1) 1&2 person > other pronoun > proper name > human > non-human > inanimate

(2)   Məj   [təj-*(ən) /  Vasja-*(n)  purl-mo]   melna-m          kočkaš   om                   tüŋal.

I        you-gen     Vasja-gen  bite-nzr      pancake-acc     eat          neg.prs.1sg   will

‘I will not eat the pancake nibbled by you / Vasja.’

(3)   Məj   [pərəs-(ən)    purl-mo]   melna-m          kočkaš   om                     tüŋal.

I        cat-(gen)      bite-nzr   pancake-acc       eat          neg.prs.1sg      will

‘I will not eat the pancake nibbled by the cat.’

(4)   Jəvan   [buxgalter(-ən)       pu-əmo]    pašadar       nergen    šon-a.

Ivan     bookkeeper(-gen)  give-nzr       wages         about     think-prs.3sg

‘Ivan is thinking about the wages given to him by the bookkeeper.’

In my talk I will discuss fieldwork data from Meadow Mari on adverb placement and binding. These data support drawing finer differences in the syntactic structure of pRCs (contra Doron_&_Reintges 2005 and in_line with Miyagawa 2011) resulting in a more adequate typology of pRCs.



Brykina, Maria M. and Natalia B. Aralova (2012) Sistemy prichastij v marijskom i permskix jazykax [Participle systems in Mari and Permic languages]. In Kuznetsova, Ariadna I., ed., Finno-ugorskie jazyki. Fragmenty grammaticheskogo opisanija [Finno-Ugric languages. Fragments of grammatical description]. Moscow, YSK, pp. 476—520.

Doron, Edit and Chris Reintges (2005) On the syntax of participial modifiers. Ms., the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Miyagawa, Shigeru (2011) Genitive subjects in Altaic and specification of phase. Lingua 121: pp. 1265–1282.