Yoruba relativization and the continuous segment principle


  • Nike S. Lawal


Relative clauses, Yoruba, Accessibility Hierarchy


This paper examines the strategies for relativisation and the Noun Phrase accessibility hierarchy and constraints in Yoruba [Keenan and Comrie 197T]. The various positions relativisable are examined. It was found that contrary to what Keenan and Comrie thought, Yoruba relativises all positions except the Object of Comparative. Attention is also focussed on the status of the coreferential pronoun found in subject relativisation. From the presence of this pronoun it appears as if Yoruba violates the continuous segment principle. However, our analysis shows that the pronoun is a surface structure phenomenon which obscures the underlying strategy for relativisation. The Yoruba data therefore supports the Hierarchy Constraints.