relative clause / noun clause

Gavril

Senior Member
English, USA
In some European languages, there is a contrast between


1) direct relative clauses, i.e., clauses involving the subject or the direct object:

The man that/who saw me
The man that/who(m) I saw


2) indirect relative clauses -- clauses involving an indirect object or genitive complement:

The man with whom he spoke (or, The man that he spoke with)
The man whose car I borrowed


3) noun clauses, i.e. full embedded sentences:

He said that his car was on loan


As these examples show, there is more of an overlap between types #1 and #3 in English than there is between #2 and #3: direct relative clauses and noun clauses both use the pronoun that, whereas indirect clauses have more of a preference for wh-pronouns.

How does your language (or other languages you're familiar with) handle the types of embedded clauses listed above?
 
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  • Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    The Insular Celtic languages show a pattern that is partly similar to English, but more consistent:


    Welsh

    #1
    Y dyn a welodd fi "The man that saw me"
    Y dyn a welais i "The man that I saw"

    #2
    Y dyn y siaradodd ef ganddo "The man with whom he spoke", literally "The man that he spoke with him"
    Y dyn y benthyciais i ei gar "The man whose car I borrowed", lit. "The man that I borrowed his car"

    #3
    Dywedodd ef y mae ei gar ar fenthyg "He said that his car is on loan"
    or
    Dywedodd ef bod ei gar ar fenthyg, literally "He said his car to be on loan"


    Unlike English, types #2 and #3 pattern together more closely in Welsh than #1 and #2. Also, the difference between #1 and #2-3 is deeper and more consistent: not only is the relative pronoun/particle always different (a vs. y), but the composition of the clause is also different. Direct relative clauses have a "gap" showing where the referent of the relative pronoun (subject or object) would have fit, whereas indirect relative clauses have a resumptive pronoun ("with him", "his", etc.) instead of a gap.

    Thus, indirect relative clauses and noun clauses in Welsh can both be seen as "complete sentences" inserted in the middle of another sentence, whereas in English, this is only true of noun clauses.
     
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    810senior

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    In Japanese(the underlined one refers to a relative clause):

    Japanese language doesn't have the thing like relative pronoun in English, so the way a relative clause modifies the noun is to put it ahead of the modified noun.

    #1
    私に会ったあの男 The man (who) saw me
    私が会った
    あの男 The man (whom) I saw
    c.f. 私はあの男に会った(I saw the man) and あの男は私に会った(the man saw me)

    #2
    彼が話していた男 The man (who) he spoke with
    私が車を借りた男 The man (whose) car I borrowed
    c.f. 彼は男と話していた(he spoke with the man) 私はあの男に車を借りた(I borrowed the car from the man)

    #3
    彼は私に彼の車はまだ貸し出し中であると教えてくれた。 He told me that his car was still on loan.
     

    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Greek:

    (1)
    A/ The man that saw me: «Ο άνθρωπος που με είδε» [o ˈanθropos pu me ˈiðe] (lit. the man that me he-saw) the construction is: masculine definite article in the nominative + masculine nominative noun (subject) + indeclinable pronoun that introduces anaphoric sentences «που» [pu], aphetic of ByzGr relative adv. «ὁποὺ» opoù < Classical indirect interrog. & indef. adv. «ὅπου» hópou (PIE *kʷo- interrog. adv. who? hence Ionic Gr. «κοῦ» koû & «ὅκου» hókou; Skt. कः (kaH), who?; Lat. quod) + 1st person weak form accusative pronoun as pre-verbal clitic to express object + verb in aorist.
    B/ The man who saw me: «Ο άνθρωπος ο οποίος με είδε» [o ˈanθropos o oˈpi.os me ˈiðe] (lit. the man, he who saw me) the construction is: masculine definite article in the nominative + masculine nominative noun as subject + masculine definite article in the nominative + masculine anaphoric pronoun «οποίος» in the nominative < Classical anaphoric pronoun «ὁποῖος» hŏpoîŏs < compound; substantivised demonstrative pronoun «ὅς» hós (PIE *so-/*to- this one cf Skt. सः (saH), he) + interrog. pronoun «ποῖος» poîŏs (PIE *kʷo- interrog. adv. who?) + 1st person weak form accusative pronoun as pre-verbal clitic to express indirect object + verb in aorist.
    C/ The man whom I saw: «Ο άνθρωπος που είδα» [o ˈanθropos pu ˈiða] (lit. the man that I-saw) the construction is: masculine definite article in the nominative + masculine nominative noun + indeclinable pronoun that introduces anaphoric sentences «που» + verb in aorist (Greek is pro-drop language, the subject here is assumed). Also «ο άνθρωπος τον οποίον είδα» [o ˈanθropos ton oˈpion ˈiða] (lit. the man him whom I-saw) the construction is: masculine definite article in the nominative + masculine nominative noun + masculine definite article in the accusative + masculine anaphoric pronoun in the accusative + verb in aorist.
    (2) The man with whom he spoke: «Ο άνθρωπος με τον οποίον μίλησε» [o ˈanθropos me ton oˈpion ˈmilise] (lit. the man with him whom he-spoke); again the masculine anaphoric pronoun is in the accusative. «Με» [me] here is the preposition with, after aphaeresis from the Classical preposition «μετά» mĕtắ --> with (PIE *meth₂- in the midst, between, after cf Proto-Germanic *midi > Ger mit, Dt. met; Alb. mjet, middle), not to be confused with the 1st person weak form enclitic accusative pronoun «με» [me] (paradigm 1A), aphetic of Classical «ἐμέ» ĕmé (PIE *h₁me- me cf Lat. mē).
    (3) Here Greek prefers to use objective clauses introduced with the preposition «ότι» [ˈoti] < Classical prep. «ὅ τι» hó tĭ --> anything which, whatever, which derives from the neuter of the anaphoric pronoun «ὅστις, ἥτις, ὅ τι» hóstis (masc.), hḗtis (fem.), hó tĭ --> anyone who, anything which (in MoGr the anaphoric «ό,τι» is written with a comma to distinguish it from the preposition «ότι»): «Είπε ότι δανείστηκε το αυτοκίνητό του» [ˈipe ˈoti ðaˈnistice to aftoˈciniˌto tu] (lit. he said that he borrowed the car of-his) the contruction is: verb in aorist 3rd person indicative (Greek is pro-drop language, the personal pronoun i.e. the subject of the verb is assumed, suggested by the suffix of the verb) + preposition «ότι» + verb in aorist 3rd person indicative + neuter definite article in the accusative + neuter accusative noun + enclitic 3rd person masculine possessive pronoun.
     
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    Dymn

    Senior Member
    Catalan:

    #1
    L'home que em va veure. Lit.: "The man that me he-saw"
    L'home que vaig veure. Lit.: "The man that I-saw"

    #2
    L'home amb qui vaig parlar. Lit.: "The man with who I-spoke"
    L'home el cotxe del qual vaig agafar. Lit.: "The man the car of the which I-took" *

    #3
    (Ell) Va dir que el seu cotxe estava de préstec. Lit.: "He said that his car was of loan"

    * This is the standard construction in Catalan, but in speech L'home que vaig agafar el seu cotxe sounds more natural (literally as in Welsh, "The man that I took his car").
     

    ger4

    Senior Member
    German
    German:
    nom = nominative, gen = genitive, dat = dative, acc = accusative, s1 = 1st person singular, s3 = 3rd person singular

    #1a - Der Mann, der mich gesehen hat
    Lit.: the man (nom) that (relative pronoun nom) me (s1 acc) seen has
    #1b - Der Mann, den ich gesehen habe
    Lit.: the man (nom) that (relative pronoun acc) I (s1 nom) seen have
    #2a - Der Mann, mit dem er gesprochen hat
    Lit.: the man (nom) with that (relative pronoun dat) he (s3 nom) spoken has
    #2b - Der Mann, dessen Auto ich mir ausgeliehen habe
    Lit.: the man (nom) of that (relative pronoun gen) car (acc) I (s1 nom) to me (s1 dat) borrowed have
    #3 - Er hat gesagt, dass sein Auto geliehen ist/sei
    Lit.: he (s3 nom) has said that (conjunction) his car on loan was/is (subjunctive/indicative s3)
    #3 (another option) - Er hat gesagt, sein Auto sei geliehen
    Lit.: he (s3 nom) has said his car on loan was (subjunctive s3)
     
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