Relative Clauses in Chi\Ha a Gs Approach

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Addis Ababa University


This study examines the structure of relative clauses In Chaha. As a quldellne , it employs the theory of Government and Binding of Chomsky (1981, 1982, 1986) and recent developments. The theory assumes that relative clauses are Non-argument clausal complements of nouns at a maximal level. The internal structure of relative clauses are explained interms of sublhcories and principles which are assumed to be prcperttes of universal grammar. The study begins by analyzing the relativizing strategy in the language. It is argued that Chaha uses the Pro in situ strategy in Its relative clauses. This means that an empty category Pro is base generated in a relativized argument NP position of a relative clause. The relativized arqumcnt NP may be a complement of a verbal, a prepositional or a nominal head. The study shows that Chaha relative clauses are open syntactic predicates predicated of their head tJPs. The head NPs act as formal SUbjects of their predicated relative clauses, The rule which interpretes the relation between the head NPs and the predicated relative clauses is the rule of predicate Linking which applies at S-structure. In Chaha , an invariable element Iyal occurs in perfect relative clauses to introduce the clauses as predicated of their head NPs. This Iyal is treated as a complementizer and is base generated in cornp, position at D-structure. It does not phonetically occur in imperfect relative clauses. Although relativized NP positions are always empty, subject agreement affixes and pronominal object clltics play essential roles in identifying their content. The: former refers to subjects, and the latter to objects of [-N] categories.



Relative Clauses