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Place nouns heading relative clauses with focal subjects

Gerjan van Schaaik

Pages 79 - 106


Many grammars of Turkish give little attention to a type of construction which has puzzled quite a number of linguists trying to formalize the distribution of the so-called subject participle (SP) and the object participle (OP), the latter also known as the nonsubject participle. A subject participle is used in three cases: when its subject is (i) the head of the RC; (ii) a constituent in a possessive relation with the head; and (iii) a nonreferential noun phrase. In all other cases the object participle applies. The present contribution provides a pragmatic analysis of the latter type of construction and proposes the name Focus-Locus Construction, showing that the subject is a non-referential noun phrase that is always placed in preverbal (focus) position and that the head noun of the relative clause can without exception be interpreted as a noun denoting location (locus). Such structures are presentative constructions providing new information, and they are related to existential constructions because they express “places where things happen”.


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