Relative clauses in colloquial Armenian : Syntax and typology

Abstract : This thesis presents a study of the syntax and typology of relative clauses in colloquial Armenian. It proposes a syntactic analysis and classification of the relativization strategies available in Armenian within the framework of existing syntactic theoretical and typological proposals concerning relative clauses, and to identify the decisive factors associated with the distribution of these different strategies. As each of the available strategies is paralleled in other languages of the area, it is possible that language contact will have an impact on the choice of strategy. There is also evidence that the role of the relativized element in the relative clause is relevant for the choice of strategy; in particular, evidence presented in previous studies of Armenian suggests that the distribution of participial RCs may violate the Relativization Accessibility Hierarchy if this is envisaged as operating directly in terms of syntactic grammatical relations.The study is mainly based on data from sound recordings of native speaker consultants from various areas of Armenia, both spontaneous speech and responses to stimuli designed to elicit relative clauses with particular properties that have been proposed to affect the choice of relativization strategy. The relative clauses are entered into a database with filters for relevant features, which contains approximately 2000 examples. The results show that accessibility to relativization is determined by semantic (affectedness) and pragmatic (topicality) role prominence, and by frequent role-reference association patterns, rather than directly by syntactic grammatical relations. This provides a coherent explanation of the apparent Accessibility Hierarchy violations found in Armenian, as well as other phenomena that have proved problematic for syntactic structure-based interpretations of accessibility to relativization.
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Katherine Hodgson. Relative clauses in colloquial Armenian : Syntax and typology. Linguistics. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019USPCF006⟩. ⟨tel-02356401⟩

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