[Lingtyp] Attributive temporal clauses without temporal nouns

Alexander Coupe ARCoupe at ntu.edu.sg
Sun Feb 28 05:04:01 UTC 2021

Dear Jesús,

Mongsen Ao, a Tibeto-Burman language of Nagaland, NE India, lacks a lexical exponent for encoding temporal antecedence and instead uses a negated form of sequential or locative converb to express this meaning. I discuss and present some examples on pp. 447-448 of Coupe, A.R. 2007. A grammar of Mongsen Ao. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. The expression of temporal meanings usually involves converb constructions in clause-chaining TB languages spoken in this region of India.

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From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Jesus Francisco Olguin Martinez <olguinmartinez at ucsb.edu>
Date: Thursday, 25 February 2021 at 12:18 PM
To: "lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org" <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
Subject: [Lingtyp] Attributive temporal clauses without temporal nouns

Dear all,

I hope this email finds you well.

I am currently writing my dissertation on temporal adverbial clauses in the languages of the world.

As you know, many languages express temporal adverbial relations (e.g. when-relations, while-relations) by means of constructions that appear with temporal nouns (e.g. 'time' 'day', 'year'; e.g. 'the time they arrived, they sat down'; Thompson et al 2007; Hetterle 2015; Diessel 2019; Olguín Martínez 2020).

As discussed by Diessel (2019: 106), in some languages the temporal noun can be omitted resulting in constructions such as the following:

1.  At (the time) you came, I saw you.
2. (the time) that you came, I saw you.

In the sample of my dissertation, I came across 56 languages not genetically related that seem to use this type of construction, as a primary strategy, to express various semantic types of adverbial clauses. The most common patterns I have found in the sample are the following:

4. LOCATIVE (temporal noun).
6. DEMONSTRATIVE (temporal noun).

Are you aware of any studies that have addressed this phenomenon? Are you aware of any languages that express temporal adverbial relations by means of this type of construction?

Thank you very much in advance.

Best regards,

Jesús Olguín Martínez
Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of Linguistics
University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Diessel, Holger. 2019. Preposed adverbial clauses: Functional adaptation and diachronic inheritance. In Karsten Schmidtke-Bode, Natalia Levshina, Susanne Maria Michaelis, & Ilja Seržant (eds.), Explanation in linguistic typology: Diachronic sources, functional motivations and the nature of the evidence, 97-122. Leipzig: Language Science Press.
Hetterle Katja. 2015. Adverbial clauses in cross-linguistic perspective. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.
Olguín Martínez, Jesús. 2020. Attributive temporal clauses in cross-linguistic perspective. Te Reo. The Journal of the Linguistic Society of New Zealand 63: 1-36.
Thompson, Sandra, Robert Longacre, & Shin Hwang. 2007. Adverbial clauses. In Timothy Shopen, (ed.), Language typology and syntactic description volume II: Complex constructions, 237- 300. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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