Converbs and adverbial clauses in Badaga, a South-Dravidian language

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This paper analyzes complex sentence constructions in Badaga, a Dravidian language spoken in Southern India. After identifying the strategies used to express clause dependency, mainly based on converbs, adjectival participles and a quotative element, it examines their use and distribution in different semantic functions: temporal, causal, purposive etc. A few sample cases of the simultaneous use of these strategies in complex sentences will be given. Noticeable findings are that (i) there is a clear distinction between a polyfunctional dependent contextual converb and several specialized converbs, constructing more autonomous adverbial clauses, and (ii) none of the clause dependency strategies is specific to a single semantic function. Crucially, word order, and prosodic and pragmatic factors contribute to the interpretation of dependent clauses.


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