From demonstrative to relative marker to clause linker

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Pima Bajo a Uto-Aztecan language spoken in Northwestern Mexico, constructs relative clauses by means of a verbal suffix which has diachronically emerged from an stative/perfective suffix and a demonstrative; such a nominalizing strategy is quite distinct from those observed in others Uto-Aztecan languages from the same area. Furthermore relative clauses are only possible for subject and object; the latter shows a dependent subject encoded via an object/possessive pronoun, a characteristic feature observed also in verbal complements of the verb ‘to want’ as well as in some adverbial clauses. Functional equivalent constructions of oblique relative clauses show the relative suffix functioning as a clausal connective, which announces a distinct pathway of grammaticalization. Keywords: Grammaticalization; relative clauses; clause linker; Pima Bajo


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