Subject-headed relative clauses (Hungarian)

RelPro: Subject-headed relative clauses include both the nominal head of the relative clause in the main clause and an obligatory coreferential pronoun in the relative clause. The pronoun is marked as the subject of the relative clause, while the nominal head is marked for the role it plays in the main clause.

RCnonS: While the nominal head of a subject-headed relative clause can be understood to be the subject of the clause, this role is not marked grammatically; instead, the noun is only marked for its syntactic role in the main clause.

(1) a kutya ugat.

the dog bark.prs.3sg

‘The dog is barking.’

(2) fél-ek az ugat-ó kutyá-tól.

afraid-prs.1sg the bark-prs.ptc dog-abl

‘I’m afraid of the barking dog.’

(3) félek (at-tól) a kutyá-tól, amelyik ugat.

afraid-prs.1sg det-abl the dog-abl which bark.prs.3sg

‘I’m afraid of the dog which is barking.’

In Hungarian, relative constructions with subject noun heads (1) are typically expressed by subordination (3) where the case marked determiner attól ‘from that’ can optionally appear in the main clause and the head noun is expressed by a pronoun in the subordinate clause. It is also possible to use participle constructions (2) where the relative construction takes the case ending required by the verb (ablative in the example above) (cf. Balogh 2000b: 444‒448, Kenesei et al. 1998: 37‒41).


Nikolett F. Gulyás