Relative Clause in Borna

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Addis Ababa University


This thesis deals with description of the structure of relative clause in Bòrná. Concerning the ways of relativization of Bòrná, there is a controversy as to whether the relative pronoun is used or not. According to Lamberti (1993), elements like /tsó, tsú, tsúwoótsí, iruwó, iruú, iruwoótsí, ettuwó, ettuú, ettuwoótsí/ are relative pronouns in Bòrná and implies relative pronoun strategy. Whereas, Bikila (2003) and Felming (1976) maintained that /-ts/ is a relativizer. But the position of the present study is like Bikila (2003) and Felming (1976) claim /ts/ is a relativizer, the element is portmantu that encodes relativity of the verb and past tense. The language employs pro in situ, pronoun retention and gapping strategy. The pro in situ strategy occurs in postnominal subject and direct object relativization. The prenominal subject and direct object relativization employs gapping strategy. The rest of the positions like indirect object, oblique complement and possessor position apply pronoun retention strategy. Based on the position of the RC with respect to head noun, Bòrná RC has a prenominal, postnominal and headless type of relative clause. Bòrná has no restrictiveness marker of structure of relative cluase. That is, the meaning of the relative cluase is not restricted or non-restricted by either formal or distributional change. In connection to these, Keenan and Comrie (1977)’s five accessibility hierarchy: subject, direct object, indirect object, oblique complement and possessor position relativizations Bòrná covers all the accessibility hierarchy positions. The function of adjectives and the RC is similar in Bòrná; both can function as headless, prenominal and postnominal. In the language, negative relative verb drops tense marker and add negative suffix /-á/. /-á/ is a portmantu morpheme that negates verbs in present, past and future tenses and encodes relativity of the verb.



structure of relative clause