[Lingtyp] Attributive temporal clauses without temporal nouns

Bohnemeyer, Juergen jb77 at buffalo.edu
Sun Feb 28 05:57:36 UTC 2021

Dear Jesús — Yucatec Maya lacks temporal clauses. The closest equivalent are topicalized clauses that are implicitly or explicitly nominalized. Here is an example:



dèekeh u=pàal.
COMP  A3=child(B3SG)

'As [the prodigal son] approached, [bis father] really recognized that he was his child.’

The clause in the first line is the topic clause. The definite article on the left edge marks it as nominalized, but is optional. The connective káa that introduces both the topic clause and the matrix clause occurs exclusive with perfective aspect and signals that the topic time of the clause is not anaphorically tracked, or in other words, it serves to exclude perfect-like interpretations where some result state of the perfective clause is understood to obtain at topic time. 

Formally, the topic clause has the structure of a headless relative. While it would be syntactically possible to insert a noun such as òorah ‘time’ here, this does not seem to be idiomatic in Yucatec. 

I have a couple of old papers on this construction. Let me know if you’d like me to send them through.

HTH! — Juergen

> On Feb 24, 2021, at 11:17 PM, Jesus Francisco Olguin Martinez <olguinmartinez at ucsb.edu> wrote:
> 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)
> http://www.linguistics.ucsb.edu/people/jesús-olguín-martínez
> References
> 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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Juergen Bohnemeyer (He/Him)
Professor, Department of Linguistics
University at Buffalo 

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