A Grammar of Yami

7 Structure of Noun Phrases
 7.1 Word order
 7.2 Determiners
 7.3 Relative clauses

  Relative clauses can be divided into verbal and “adjectival” relative clauses. The head constituent of the former is a dynamic verb while the latter is either a noun or a stative verb.

7.3.1 Verbal relative clauses

  The verbal relative clauses, in parentheses in the following examples, are connected to the head nouns by the linker a . In example (124), there is a zero pronominal trace in the relative clause to refer to the head noun tazokok ‘tazokok bird'. Similarly, in (125), there is a zero pronominal trace in the relative clause to refer to the head noun wakay ‘sweet potato'. In (126), the zero pronominal trace must refer to the Nominative Patient if there are two arguments.


(124) aro a tazokok a [om-oli do ili].

Many LIN bird.name LIN AF-go.home LOC village

‘(There are) many tazokok birds that went back to the village.'

(125) [ko ni-pangay do vanga] a wakay.

1.S.GEN PA.PF-put LOC pot LIN sweet.potato

‘The sweet potato that I put in the pot.'

(126) o [dengdeng-an namen so rahet] a vanga aka

NOM cook-LF 1.P.GEN.EXCL OBL fish.for.men LIN pot CON

no [pangay-an namen so rahet] a kakanan am,

GEN put-LF 1.P.GEN.EXCL OBL fish.for.men LIN plate PAR

[i-panci namen] a raratan.

IF-call 1.P.GEN.EXCL LIN utensil.name

‘The pots in which we cook rahet fish and the plates on which we put rahet fish are called raratan by us.'


7.3.2 ‘Adjectival' relative clauses

  Yami does not possess a distinctive adjective word class. In the so-called “adjectival” relative clauses, the head constituents are either nouns or stative verbs. In the following examples (127)-(129), all the adjectival relative clauses are in parentheses.


(127) [rako] a vahay

big.one LIN house

‘A big house'

(128) alibangbang a [ma-vaheng so panid]

flying.fish LIN SV-black OBL wing

‘Flying fish with black fins'

(129) yaken o [ya ma-lavang] a ayob ori.

1.S.NOM NOM AUX SV.white LIN clothes that

‘Those white clothes are mine.'


7.3.3 P osition of relative clauses in relation to their head nouns

  The relative clauses are ordered after their modified head nouns as the basic order. If the relative clause occurs before the modified noun, it is restrictive and marked, as shown in (130). On the other hand, if the relative clause is ordered after the head noun, it is non-restrictive and unmarked, as shown in (131).


(130) ko ni-ma-cita o [ji á-kneng] a kanakan.

1.S.GEN PA-able.PF-see NOM NEG SUB-still LIN child

‘I saw the child who cannot hold still.'

(131) ko ni-ma-cita o kanakan a [ji á-kneng].

1.S.GEN PA-able.PF-see NOM child LIN NEG SUB-still

‘I saw that child, who cannot hold still.'


7.3.4 Relative clause marking

  A relative clause is usually connected with the following modified head noun by the linker a , as discussed previously. Another linker aka , which can be used to link numbers with nouns, as illustrated in (132)-(133), is derived from the conjunction aka ‘and', e.g. wakay aka no soli ‘sweet potato and taro', and si Ama aka ni Ina ‘Father and Mother'. Yami numbers will be discussed in Section 9.


(132) na-nem aka tao o ika-ka-roa-n da

Ca-RED-six CON human NOM OR-NF-two-NF 3.P.GEN

‘Sixteen (six of the second ten) people'

(133) asa aka among

one CON fish

‘A fish'