What does it take to host a (restrictive) relative clause?

Martina Wiltschko


This paper discusses the syntactic and semantic properties of descriptive relative clauses, a type of relative clause which has mainly been discussed in the literature on Chinese. It is argued that descriptive relative clauses are found in German. In particular it is shown that German has a set of determiners which are used for discourse referents that are already uniquely identifiable. As such, they cannot be restricted by a relative clause. However such DP’s can be modified by descriptive relative clauses. It is proposed that descriptive relative clauses attach to NP while restrictive relative clauses attach to nP. Thus, the paper contributes to the question as to whether there are different relative clauses associated with different layers of projections in the nominal domain.

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Working Papers of the Linguistics Circle

EISSN: 1920-440X
ISSN: 1200-3344

University of Victoria