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Clause dependency relations in East Greenlandic Inuit

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Abstract

In the dialects of Inuit, two main features of clause subordination stand out: first, the lack of subordinating conjunctions, as subordinate clauses are indicated by verbal morphology and synthetic devices; second, there is a structural parallelism between several verb forms found in subordinate clauses and possessive noun phrases. Alongside verbal morphology marking subordination, several markers found within the verb phrase also indicate subordination. We will emphasize the frequency and role of multiple subordinate clause-chaining in East Greenlandic Tunumiisut discourse. Our findings show that the supposed dichotomy between the verbal markers found in dependent sentences and those found in independent sentences might be less rigid in oral narratives. This leads us to also consider dependency phenomena at the level of discursive paragraphs or sentence sequences.

References

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