After Chapters 92 and 93 on subject and object relative clauses, here we consider instrument relative clauses, i.e. relative clauses where the role of the head inside the relative clause is an instrument.
Such relative clauses can be marked by a special morpheme that occurs at the beginning or end of a relative clause, which we call relative particle (see (1), where the particle wa is glossed rel). Alternatively, overt marking may be lacking (zero) (see (2)).
The role of the head inside the relative clause can be indicated by a gap (no overt expression) (indicated by an underscore, as in (1-2)). A gap in relative clause constructions is very common in the world’s languages when the role of the head is subject or direct object, but it is much less common if it is an instrument or some other role that is typically expressed by an oblique phrase. Thus, the occurrence of the gap after the preposition in (1) and (2) goes by the special name preposition stranding.
Alternatively, the role of the head can be indicated by a resumptive pronoun (as in 3).
Most relative clause constructions can be classified by these two parameters: Whether they are marked by a particle or not, and whether the head’s role is indicated by a resumptive pronoun or not. This yields four types of constructions.
In addition, there is the possibility of marking the relative clause and the head’s role by the same element, a relative pronoun, as in (4).
The relative pronoun lo ke marks the beginning of the relative clause, and it is the complement of a preposition which indicates that the head is an instrument inside the relative clause. This kind of construction in which the relative pronoun is fronted but still has a preposition preceding it is called pied-piping.
Instrument relative clauses are clauses in which the head has the instrument role in the relative clause. We distinguish eight subtypes, six of which are also found in object relative clauses. Additionally there are two minor types, “relative pronoun with resumptive pronoun” (value 6), and “instrument meaning is left implicit” (value 7). Note that for 12 languages, we lack data on instrument relative clause formation, as this kind of relative clause is very rare in corpora. The type “non-reduction” does not occur in our data.
|Relative pronoun with pied-piping||3||8||11|
|Relative particle and gap with preposition stranding||7||12||19|
|Relative particle and resumptive pronoun||9||11||20|
|Zero and gap with preposition stranding||1||8||9|
|Zero and resumptive pronoun||6||8||14|
|Relative pronoun with resumptive pronoun||1||1||2|
|Instrument meaning is left implicit||5||6||11|
Compared to subject and object relative clauses, instrument relative clauses are special in that resumptive pronouns are much more often used in them – in fact, resumptive pronouns are more common than preposition stranding. This is in line with Hawkins’s (1999) observation that resumptive pronouns tend to be used primarily for such oblique roles. Moreover, the instrument meaning is often left implicit (value 7), and seven languages do not allow instrument relative clauses (value 8).
Value 1. A relative-clause marker is regarded as a relative pronoun if it has different subject and object forms, or if its relative marker can be combined with an adposition. Thus, all cases of pied-piping are cases of relative pronouns (see also ex. 4).
In two languages, Angolar and Casamancese Creole, there are relative pronouns (which have distinct subject and object forms), but these require a resumptive pronoun in instrument relative clauses (value 6).
Value 2. Preposition stranding is most common in English-based languages, especially in the Atlantic. In 19 languages it occurs with a relative particle.
Another example was seen in (1) above. Preposition stranding is also found in Sango, where the preposition occurs before the direct object:
Value 3. As noted earlier, resumptive pronouns are more common in instrument relative clauses than in subject and object relative clauses. In 20 languages they occur with a relative particle.
Value 4. Zero-marked instrument relative clauses with a gap with preposition stranding are mostly found as an alternative in languages that also have preposition stranding with a relative particle (value 2). (Another example was seen in (2) above.)
Value 5. In a number of languages, the relative clause is zero-marked, and there is an overt pronoun following the preposition that functions as a resumptive pronoun. (Another example was seen above in (3).)
Value 7. In quite a few languages, it is possible not only to have a gap for the instrument phrase, but even to leave the role of the instrument phrase in the relative clause implicit. Thus, (12) is literally ‘The knife [I cut up the meat] is not sharp’.
In Nengee, including the preposition anga ‘with’ (and a resumptive pronoun) is not allowed.
Value 8. In quite a few languages, instruments cannot be relativized at all, and they have to be turned into the direct objects of verbs like ‘use’ or ‘take’. (This construction is somewhat similar to ‘take’ serials, see Chapter 85.)