A note on on verb/object order and head/relative clause order



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Latin (Indo-European - Ernout et Thomas 1964)54


postverbal complement clauses:

gaudeo [te interpellaui] (Ernout et Thomas 1964,298)

I am glad (I) you-ACC asked ‘I’m glad I’ve asked you’


postverbal adverbial clauses:

relegatus mihi videor [ posteaquam in Formiano sum] (Ernout et Thomas 1964,361)

exiled to me (I) appear since in my villa in Formia I am

‘I appear to myself an exile since the day I arrived in my villa in Formia’
postnominal RCs:

puellae [quas rogavi] cras respondebunt (M&B,332)

girls.[fem].pl.nom RelPro.fem.pl.nom. ask-past.[1s] tomorrow reply.Fut.[3.pl]

‘The girls whom I asked will answer tomorrow’
Manam (Austronesian – Lichtenberk 1983)

postverbal complement clauses:



tamóata i-píle [mása ŋa-dúma-ya] (Lichtenberk 1983,556)

man 3sg.realis-say indef.irrealis 3sg.irrealis-help-1sg.obj ‘The man said he would help me’


postverbal adverbial clauses:

tágo u-duma-í?o [biéŋ u-lá ?o-be] (Lichtenberk 1983,548)

neg 1sg.realis-help-2sg.obj B. 1sg.realis-go-and ‘I did not help you because I went to Bieng’


postnominal RCs:

tamóata [tanépwa i-rá=ra-di]  ?u-?awat-á?-idi? (Lichtenberk 1983,262)

man chief 3sg.realis-talk to=redupl-3pl.obj 2sg-know-trans-3pl.obj

‘Do you know the man the chief is talking to?’
Marathi (Indo-Aryan - M&B,281; Pandharipande 1997)

postverbal complement clauses:


Mohan mhanālā [kī madhū dillīla gelā] (Pandharipande 1997,p.65)


Mohan say-past-3sm Comp Madhu Delhi-to go-past-3sm ‘Mohan said that Madhu went to Delhi’
postverbal adverbial clauses:55

tī gāte [dzēmwhā tī ānandī aste] (Pandharipande 1997,p.105)


she sing-3sf when she happy is-3sf ‘She sings when she is happy’
postnominal RCs:

to mānūs [dzo itha śikawto] to mādzhā bhāū āhe (Pandharipande 1997,p.79)


that man rel here teach-pres-3sm that poss-ms brother is ‘The man who teaches here is my brother’
Nama (Khoisan - M&B,279; Andrews 1975,58-61). Mallinson and Blake (1981,279) classify Nama (which they refer to as Hottentot) as SOV, and as having both pre- and postnominal RCs.56

postverbal complement clauses:



Ti+ta ge goro #âi [||i+b ne+pa ha ti] (Levi Namaseb, p.c.)

I +me Ind Prog think Pron+He here+Loc be so ‘I thought that he was here’


postverbal adverbial clauses:

Ti+ta ge go i [ ||i+b go !hasara te !khai+s !aroma] (Levi Namaseb, p.c.)

I + me Ind Past Circ. Past.left Pron+He Past insult me Fact+It therefore

"I left because he insulted me".
postnominal RCs:

khoi-b, [ia go //ari ha-b] gye mĩ… (Andrews 1975,61)

man-m.sg Rel Past yesterday come-m.sg Perf say ‘The man who came yesterday said…’


Northern Paiute (Uto-Aztecan – Thornes 2003)57

Postverbal complement clauses:



Ni u=supidakwatu [u-su kai i= bunni] (Thornes 2003,446)

I 3=know 3-Nom Neg 1=see.Dur ‘I knew he didn’t see me’

postverbal adverbial clauses:

Ni u=supidakwatu [ka u-su i=tiikwi] (Thornes 2003,461)

I 3=know Ka 3-Nom 1=tell ‘I know because he told me’

postnominal RCs:

ni ka=tihikva [o?o wini-di] punni (Thornes 2003,428)

I Obl=deer Dem stand.Sg-NML see.Dur ‘I see the deer (that is) standing out there’



Pashto (Indo-Iranian – MacKenzie 1992; Tegey and Robson 1996; Taylor Roberts - http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~siamakr/Kurdish/KURDICA/2001/3/trpashto.htm) (when otherwise not indicated, the example is from Roberts’ paper).
Postverbal complement clauses:

Mamaad fíker kewi [CP tshi de Sur Gwel day khwaass dey]

Mamaad thought do COMP POSS Sur Gwel him like be ‘Mamaad thinks Sur Gwel likes him’

postverbal adverbial clauses:

asad wa nə gadedə [wale tse nājoŗa wə] (Tegey and Robson 1996,228)

Asad prf not danced why that sick was ‘Asad didn’t dance because he was sick’
postnominal RCs: (see also MacKenzie 1992,170, and Tegey and Robson 1996,219ff)

hagheey hagha mayshem [CP tshi uda dee] khkol krro

she DET baby [COMP sleep be] kiss do ‘She kissed the baby who is sleeping’


Pech (Paya) (Chibchan - Holt 1999b)

Postverbal complement clauses:



tàs-ma kà-h-ír-t-à-rí? [ tè?k-er-pí-kán] (cf. Holt 1999b,72)

I-Emph them-Aff-know-Neg-1s-Past2 come-3p-Fut-whether

‘I didn’t know/find out regarding whether they would come’

postverbal adverbial clauses:



apáská?té-pE? [asòw(a)-rás] (cf. Holt 1999b,69)

we.not.leave-Fut rain-because ‘We will not leave because it’s raining’


postnominal RCs:

a?-árwA-ma [ katUš-k-u-ri?-ma] ò:n-í? (Holt 1999b,73)


that-man-Emph work-Sem-Hab-Past2-Emph/Rel die- Past2

‘That man you used to work with died’



Persian (Indo-Iranian - M&B, 281,287f; Tabaian 1975; Mahootian 1997)


postverbal complement clauses:

fekr—mi-kon-æm [(ke) šiva emšæb mi-res-e] (Mahootian 1997,29)

thought-Dur-do-1s (that) Shiva tonight Dur-arrive-3s ‘I think (that) Shiva will arrive tonight’

postverbal adverbial clauses:

ba otobus ræft-im [cunke mašin næ-dar-im] (Mahootian 1997,40)

with bus went-1pl because car Neg-have-1pl ‘We went by bus because we don’t have a car’

postnominal RCs:

mašin-i [ke diruz xærid-æm]… (Mahootian 1997,29)

car-Dem that yesterday bought-1s… ‘The car that I bought yesterday…’


Pima Bajo (Uto-Aztecan – Estrada Fernández 1996)

postverbal complement clauses:



ig hihik [ ko-n huun hug-an] (Estrada Fernández 1996,37)

3s want(PERF) COMPL-1s corn eat-IRR ‘He wanted me to eat corn’


postverbal adverbial clauses:

aan am him-ia [timosa dud-an] (Estrada Fernández 1996,39)

1s LOC go-PROB although rain-IRR ‘I will go although it is raining’


postnominal RCs:58

aan nukad vainom aita-[kik ap in-hivig-id] (Estrada Fernández 1996,37)

1s have(Impf) knife that-Rel 2s 1s(Obj)-lend-DTRVZ

‘I have the knife you lent me’
Quechua (Ancash) (Quechuan - M&B,282; Lehmann 1984,55-58)

postverbal complement clauses:



Musya-: [punu-nka-nqa-n-ta] (Lehmann 1984,57)

Know-1sg [sleep-Prog-Nominalizer.Real-3sg]-Acc

‘I know that he is sleeping’

postverbal adverbial clauses:

postnominal RCs:59

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