Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users, please click the view more button below to purchase a copy of this dissertation from Proquest.

(Some titles may also be available free of charge in our Open Access Dissertation Collection, so please check there first.)

THE SYNTAX AND INTERPRETATION OF THE RELATIVE CLAUSE CONSTRUCTION IN SWAHILI

CAMILLIA NEVADA BARRETT KEACH, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation is to bring under investigation two of the three relative clause strategies in Swahili within the framework of the Revised Extended Standard Theory (c.f. Chomsky (1977, 1980), and Chomsky and Lasnik (1977)). Various surface differences between the tensed and amba relative clause strategies are revealed and analyzed. Much of the data on which the analyses are based has not appeared in the literature prior to this work. For the most part, an attempt is made here to analyze Swahili relatives within a framework where constraints are stated as well-formedness conditions on the representations produced by the components of the grammar, rather than as constraints on particular rules.^ It is argued that the surface differences between the tensed and amba relatives may be attributed to two facts. First, amba is a verb and hence an amba relative will contain one more embedding than its tensed paraphrase. Secondly, evidence is presented which supports a movement analysis of relativization in the tensed relative. Thus, the relative binds a trace within the clause in this strategy.^ A variety of constructions are introduced where the relative pronoun is anaphorically related to a full pronoun within the modifying clause. The anaphora exhibited in such cases and in the amba relative is accounted for by the normal anaphoric processes that apply in relatives and non-relatives alike. A metacondition on the interpretation of relative clauses is proposed--the Relative Clause Interpretation Condition. Given the appropriate syntactic configuration, a representation is interpreted as a relative clause if the head of the clause is not disjoint with an NP within the clause.^ An innovative aspect of this study is the treatment given Subject Postposing and directly related topics. There are two rules which postpose subjects. One rule applies in relatives and another applies in a construction labelled Focus. The analysis of Focus involves a variety of theoretical issues and language particular insights into Swahili syntax: Focus is analyzed as a subcase of Passive; Agreement Conditions applying in Logical Form will function as constraints on morphological representations, and; Subject Postposing in Focus sentences produces structures subject to the structure preservation constraint, a constraint on the representations produced by the rules in the syntax. On the other hand, the structures produced by postposing in the relatives is not subject to this constraint. It is argued that the rule which postposes subjects in relatives is not an instance of move (alpha), but applies in the Stylistic Component. ^

Subject Area

Language, Linguistics

Recommended Citation

CAMILLIA NEVADA BARRETT KEACH, "THE SYNTAX AND INTERPRETATION OF THE RELATIVE CLAUSE CONSTRUCTION IN SWAHILI" (January 1, 1980). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. Paper AAI8101343.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI8101343

Share

COinS