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Article

Relative clauses in Agul from a corpus-based perspective

STUF - Language Typology and Universals . 2020. Vol. 73. No. 1. P. 1-46.

This paper gives an account of participial clauses in Agul (Lezgic, Nakh-Daghestanian), based on a sample of 858 headed noun-modifying clauses taken from two text corpora, one spoken and one written. Noun-modifying clauses in Agul do not show syntactic restrictions on what can be relativized, and hence they instantiate the type known as GNMCCs, or general noun-modifying clause constructions. As the text counts show, intransitive verbs are more frequent than transitives and experiencer verbs in participial clauses, and among intransitive verbs, locative statives with the roots ‘be’ and ‘stay, remain’ account for half of all the uses. The asymmetry between the different relativization targets is also significant. Among the core arguments, the intransitive subject (S) is the most frequent target, patient (P) occupies second place, and agent (A) is comparatively rare. The preference of S and, in general, of S and P over A also holds true for most other Nakh-Daghestanian languages for which comparable counts are available. At the same time, Agul stands apart from the other languages by its high ratio of non-core relativization which accounts for 42% of all participial clauses. Addressee, arguments and adjuncts encoded with a locative case, as well as more general PLACE and TIME relativizations show especially high frequency, outnumbering such arguments as experiencers, recipients, and predicative and adnominal possessors. Possible reasons for the high ratio of non-argument relativization are discussed in the paper.