Relative clauses Sharon Armon-Lotem
Types of complex clauses • Complement clauses – I want to drink, I know that she is late • Coordinate clauses – I like juice and she likes water • Adverbial clauses – I went to sleep when we got home • Relative clauses – The man who Mary saw was funny
Types of relative clauses • Subject RC • The man who _ reads the book is my friend • I saw the man who _ read my book • האיש ש_קרא את הספר הוא ידידי • פגשתי את האיש ש_קרא את הספר • Object RC • The man who David saw _ is my friend • I met the man who David saw _ • האיש שדויד ראה _ הוא ידידי • פגשתי את האיש שדויד ראה _
Resumptive pronouns • האיש ש(*הוא) קרא את הספר הוא ידידי • האיש שפגשתי (אותו) הוא ידידי • האיש שנתתי לו מתנה הוא ידידי • The man who I gave a present to (*him) is my friend • האיש שישבתי לידו הוא ידידי • The man who I sat next to (*him) is my friend
Pied piping • האיש שלו נתתי _ מתנה הוא ידידי • The man to whom I gave a present _ is my friend • האיש שלידו ישבתי _ הוא ידידי • The man next to whom I sat _ is my friend
The head external analysis (Chomsky 1977, Jackendoff 1977, Partee 1975) • The man [CP whoi [C 0] [IP Mary loves ti]] is my friend • The man [CP Opi [C that] [IP Mary loves ti]] is my friend • The man [CP Opi [C 0] [IP Mary loves ti]] is my friend • The head noun is base-generated outside CP • The operator undergoes A'-movement to [Spec CP] • The relative clause is right adjoined to the head noun • The head noun and CP are combined via predication • Resumptive pronouns are either base generated (a non-movement analysis) or traces spell out (a movement analysis).
Comprehension of relative clauses by monolingual TD children (Sheldon 1974) • Act-out task • [The dog that __ jumps over the pig] bumps into the lion [SS] • The dog stands on [the horse that the giraffe jumps over __] [OO] • [The lion that the horse bumps into __ ] jumps over the giraffe [SO] • The pig bumps into [the horse that __ jumps over the giraffe] [OS]
Findings • SS & OO are easier than SO & OS • Error in OS: The pig bumps into the horse and __ jumps over the giraffe (49%) • Why?
Nonadult competence (Tavakolian 1981) • Linear rather than hierarchical reading • Problems: Continuity. Negative Evidence (How do children unlearn the structure? ) • Adult competence + processing complexity (Goodluck & Tavakolian 1982) • The errors are the outcome of the complexity of the relative clause • 6. d’. The pig bumps into [the horse that __ hops up and down] [OS] • Correct in 76% • Adult competence + pragmatic factors (Hamburger & Crain 1982) • Felicity conditions - What is said should be appropriate for the goals of the conversation (Grice 1989) • Relative clauses should be used only when there is a choice between two identical objects. • A change in the original experiment: two horses 95% at age 5, 69% at age 3
Comprehension Show me the boy who is pushing the girl. Show me the boy who the girl is pushing? MichalCohen
Comprehension of Relative Clauses in SLI Stavrakaki, S. 2001. Comprehension of reversible relative clauses in specifically language impaired and normally developing Greek children. Brain and Language, 77, 419-31. Friedmann, N., & Novogrodsky, R. (2004). The acquisition of Relative clause comprehension in Hebrew: A study of SLI and normal development. Journal of Child Language, 31, 661-681.
Production of relative clauses by TD children • Children produce preconjunctional relative clauses even before the age of 2: a. *ze regel koevet lax this foot-fm hurts-fm you 'This is the foot that hurts you' [Lior 1;10;08] b. *ze shaon ose tuktuk this clock does ticktock 'This is a clock that goes ticktock' [Leor 2;1] • The complementizer appears around 2-2;6 aviron she la-shamayim [Lior 2;01;27] airplane that to-the-sky 'an airplane that flies to the sky'
Which dog is happy? Reem Bshara
Resumptive pronouns and resumptive NPs • Children initially use resumptive pronouns in French, English an other languages • Children use resumptive NPs • The zebra who the man sat next to the zebra. • The non-movement approach (cf. Labelle 1988, 1990, 1996, Goodluck & Stojanoviç 1996) • The movement approach (cf. Law 1992, Pérez-Leroux 1995, Guasti & Shlonsky 1995, McDaniel, Bernstein & McKee 1997, Varlokosta 1997a).
Resumptives and Wh-Movement in the Acquisition of Relative Clauses in Modern Greek and Hebrew Varlokosta & Armon-Lotem (1998) 24 monolingual Hebrew-speaking children from 2;8 to 5;5
Production of relative clauses by children with SLI • Novogrodsky, R., & Friedmann, N. 2006. The production of relative clauses in SLI: A window to the nature of the impairment.Advances in Speech-Language pathology, 8(4). • Friedmann, N., & Novogrodsky, R. (in press). Is the movement deficit in syntactic SLI related to traces or to thematic role transfer? Brain and Language.