where > relativizer?

peterarkadiev peterarkadiev at YANDEX.RU
Wed Oct 21 20:54:47 UTC 2009

Dear colleagues,

According to the dictionary of Lithuanian language (http://www.lkz.lt/startas.htm), the wh-word *kur*, whose basic meaning is 'where', can in some dialects be used as a general relativizer similar to English *that*. Cf. a nice example where this word is used both to form a question about location, and to relativize the subject:

Kur tas piemuo, kur gano šitas kiaules?
where that(NOM.SG) shepherd(NOM.SG) who pasture(PRS.3) pig(ACC.PL)
'Where is that shepherd, who (lit. where) pastures pigs?'

I wonder whether this or similar kinds of polysemy are attested cross-linguistically.

Thanks a lot!

With best wishes,

Peter Arkadiev
Institute of Slavic Studies

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