Prof. George Hewitt

The Relative Clause in Abkhaz (Abzhui Dialect)

"The Relative Clause in Abkhaz (Abzhui Dialect)", in Lingua  47, 1979, 151-188.

This article designed to present an exhaustive treatment of the relative-clause forming strategy of Abkhaz, a North West Caucasian language. After a sketch of the relevant verbal morphology, examples are adduced to discover if this language provides any support for the so-called Accessibility Hierarchy (Keenan and Comrie 1977). As it transpires that there are no restrictions as to which NP may stand as head noun of a relative clause, Abkhaz provides no immediate support for the Hierarchy. In an attempt to discover what restrictions. if any, manifest themselves in the formation of relative clauses, more complex structures are investigated, where the relative clause contains both a superordinate and dependent verb. It is found that, depending upon the form of the dependent verb, the superordinate verb must also in some cases contain a mark of its own ‘relative’ status. An explanation is offered as to why a relative affix should appear in the superordinate verb in some circumstances but not in others.

The full text in PDF can be downloaded by clicking here

Quick Links


SOAS, University of London Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG.

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4332

You are here: Home Articles Linguistics The Relative Clause in Abkhaz (Abzhui Dialect)