10. Transparency vs. Economy: How does Adioukrou resolve the conflict?

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The tripartite distinction of subordinate clauses, i.e. relative, complement, and adverbial clause, is arguably motivated by the differing type of conceptual asymmetry between matrix clause and subordinate clause events encoded by each clause type. The three types of subordinate clauses are also known to manifest cross-constructional continuity in constructional space (Croft 2001). From cognitive-typological viewpoint, this paper will explore the polyfunctionality of a ‘versatile’ subordinator <i>èké </i>(‘which/that/if ’) in Adioukrou, a Kwa language within the Niger-Congo language family spoken in Côte d’Ivoire. <i>Èké </i>encodes three major subtypes of subordinate clauses, i.e. relative clause, complement clause, and conditional adverbial clause, and thus apparently neutralizes the tripartite distinction. This paper will also address the issue of how Adioukrou responds to a possible tension between two cognitivefunctional principles governing form-meaning correspondence in a language, i.e. transparency (isomorphism) and economy.

  • Affiliations: 1: Tohoku University, Kawauchi; 2: Kobe University



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