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Relativization in English and Embosi

This paper examines the syntax of relativization. Put otherwise, I am concerned with the scrutiny of the grammatical properties and syntactic distribution of the relative pronouns. Some previous work shows that some studies on relativization concern the characteristics of the relative clause (Vries, 2002) whereas others deal with the identification of words that can be relativized in accordance with Accessibility Hierarchy Hypothesis (Keenan and Comrie 1977). Accordingly, relative pronouns are characterised by subordination, attribution and gap construction whereas the different words that can be relativized are language specific.

Examination of a set of works prove that there are fewer studies on relativization cross linguistics in keeping with its characteristics. As Murano and Pollock (2005:548) assert ‘a comparative approach is of invaluable support’ .In this respect, the main objective of this contribution is to compare the syntactic derivation of the relativization driving data from two languages from different language families namely English and Embsí. So, I want to find out the grammatical properties of the relative pronouns as well as highlight its syntactic distribution and constraints in English and Embsí. This paper addresses the following questions (1) What are the linguistic inherent properties of the relative pronouns in English and Embsí? (2) What is the syntactic position of the relative pronouns? (3) Does relative pronoun movement operation obey movement conditions? If no, what is the repair strategy that the two languages resort to? (4) what are the possible contentive words that can be relativized?

The article is organized as follows: Section 1 briefly recapitulates some of the arguments that have recently been adduced in favour of the syntactic description of relativization process in English. This lays the groundwork by showing in what way relativization is carried out starting from overt relative operator to invisible relative operator. Similarly, section 2 introduces relativization in connection with noun classes then moves on to deal with depicting words that can be relativized in Embsí. Section 3 concerns itself with the comparison of the relative pronoun properties, characteristics, syntactic position and relativizable words. Conclusion summarizes the key findings of this paper.

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(Author: Ndongo-Ibara Yvon-Pierre

Published by Sciedu Press)