[Lingtyp] QUEST: Lexical meaning of the verb and relativization

Bohnemeyer, Juergen jb77 at buffalo.edu
Sun Dec 8 05:55:16 UTC 2019

Dear Ksenia — I realize you are not asking about English, but for what it’s worth, it so happens that for English, actual corpus frequencies for various relativization strategies and argument types have been published. See here:

Roland, D., F. Dick, & J. L. Elman. (2007). Frequency of basic English grammatical structures: A corpus analysis. Journal of Memory and Language 57: 348-379.

Similar data may be available for a few other languages. — Best — Juergen

> On Dec 4, 2019, at 5:22 AM, Ksenia Shagal <ksenia.shagal at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear colleagues,
> I am looking for cross-linguistic and language-specific studies on relativization that focus on the connection between the lexical meaning of verbs and their arguments that are most frequently relativized.
> In other words, the question is:
> Is there evidence that verbs differ in which of their dependents are most commonly relativized or can be relativized at all? As for the second part of the question, Malchukov (2008: 218), for example, reports for Even (Tungusic) that the participial gap strategy can only be used if the relativized participant belongs to the valency of the verb, and that is why the locative relativization of the type 'the house where I lived' is possible, but ‘the house where I ate’ is not. A similar tendency has been reported for some other languages as well. But what about frequency?
> In particular, I am interested in languages that employ contextually oriented participles for relativization, i.e. in cases where one and the same participial form can be used to relativize a wide range of arguments, as in Mongolic, Tungusic,Turkic, and Dravidian languages. Do such participles have different relativization capacity or different relativization "preferences" depending on the verb?
> I would be grateful for any references or observations on the topic. 
> Thank you in advance and best regards,
> Ksenia Shagal
> postdoctoral researcher
> University of Helsinki
> https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/persons/ksenia-shagal  
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Juergen Bohnemeyer (He/Him)
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies 
Department of Linguistics and Center for Cognitive Science 
University at Buffalo 

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