Relativisation strategies in insular Celtic languages

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In the first part of this paper I provide a description of the major relativisation patterns found in the Celtic languages of the British Isles, examining the distribution of relative markers both from a typological and from a diachronic point of view. In the second part Old and Early Middle English relativisation markers are chronologically ordered and compared to the Celtic patterns. While Celtic influence on English has been claimed for gapping and preposition stranding, the data indicate other outcomes of early contact, namely the constraint against an agreeing relative marker after an agreeing determiner on the antecedent noun, and the resumptive strategy with obliques. Finally general conclusions on the direction and typology of borrowing are drawn.


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