[Lingtyp] Attributive temporal clauses without temporal nouns

David Gil gil at shh.mpg.de
Sun Feb 28 10:52:00 UTC 2021

Dear Jesús,

Many varieties of colloquial Indonesian have an even simpler option, 
whereby in (the loose equivalent of) "You came, I saw you", "You came" 
can be interpreted as denoting a specific time. Gil (1994) examples (9) 
and (10) illustrate this for the Riau dialect of Indonesian; here is 
example (9):

Kita datang taksi pun datang
1.PL.INCL arrive taxi FOC arrive
[in the given context:] 'When we get there, a taxi will also get there'

Of course, while characterizing such constructions as temporal adverbial 
clauses is fine from an "etic", or "comparative-concept" point of view, 
doing so does violence to the way the actual language is structured, in 
which, from an "emic" or "language-specific" perspective, the two 
clauses stand in a weaker, underspecified relationship of association 
("You came, I saw you, and these two activities are connected in some way").

On the face of things, this is a bit like Juergen's Yucatec Maya 
example, except that here there is no morphological marking of any kind 
(such as nominalization, TAM, etc.).


On 25/02/2021 06:17, Jesus Francisco Olguin Martinez 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 
> <http://www.linguistics.ucsb.edu/people/jes%C3%BAs-olgu%C3%ADn-mart%C3%ADnez>
> 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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David Gil
Senior Scientist (Associate)
Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
Mobile Phone (Israel): +972-526117713
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81344082091

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