This volume constitutes the first in-depth, systematic study of varieties of headless relative clauses in fifteen languages from five language families, all Mesoamerican languages spoken in Mexico and Guatemala and one Chibchan language spoken in Honduras. Headless relative clauses are clauses that often resemble interrogative clauses or headed relative clauses in their morpho-syntactic shape, but whose meaning brings them close to nominal constructions. For the vast
majority of the languages in this volume, many of which are endangered and all of which are understudied, the work presented here represents the only published material on the subject.
Ivano Caponigro is Associate Professor of linguistics at the University of California, San Diego. He is interested in formal semantics and its interfaces with syntax and pragmatics across languages. He has conducted extensive crosslinguistic work on relative clauses and wh- clauses, with special emphasis on free relative clauses and other headless relative clauses.
Harold Torrence is Associate Professor of linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on the syntax and morphology of African and Mesoamerican languages. He has worked extensively on wh- questions, relativization, focus, and complementation.
Roberto Zavala Maldonado is Professor of linguistics at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS) in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. He is interested in Mesoamerican languages, typology, language documentation, syntax, and lexicography. He has conducted extensive research on several
morphosyntactic aspects of Mayan and Mixe-Zoquean languages.
This book is a crowning achievement of research on headless relatives, a model of the micro-typological approach to language, and an inspiring example of careful semantic work on lesser-known languages. By showing how much can be accomplished in describing such languages, the authors set an important precedent for future studies in cross-linguistic semantics. The introduction to the book stands out as a state-of-the art overview of headless relatives, from the
questions that need to be asked to a painstaking analysis of their semantic properties. An absolute must for semanticists, syntacticians interested in relativization, typologists, and Mesoamerican scholars. * Maria Polinsky, Professor of Linguistics, University of Maryland * This book presents a thorough analysis of headless relative clauses in fourteen Mesoamerican language from four families, plus one Central American language. The cast of twenty-one authors is superlative and includes nine who are native speakers of one of the languages under consideration, as well as other linguists from around the world. The resulting book is a model of collaborative linguistics. * Nora C. England, Professor of Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin * A ground-breaking volume - the first exclusively on headless relatives, the first on semantic issues in Mesoamerican languages. An excellent introduction and detailed explorations of individual languages paint a rich and exciting picture of how wh structures without nominal heads can have referential import. Typologists, syntacticians, semanticists and anyone studying microvariation in relativization strategies will find a wealth of hidden gems in this outstanding
contribution to the vibrant field of cross-linguistic semantics. * Veneeta Dayal, Dorothy R. Diebold Professor of Linguistics, Yale University *
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