Øyndusyka – XV (Coördinate, Subordinate and Relative Clauses)

Øyndusyka isn’t finished yet…

Coördinate and Subordinate Clauses

Attached to a main clause may be one or more additional, secondary clauses. In Øyndusyka, these fall into two types: coördinate clauses, and subordinate clauses.

Coördinate clauses are distinguished by their retention of the basic word order applicable to main clauses. They are linked to the main clause by a coördinating conjunction, a Wackernagal particle, or both. Coördinating conjunctions include ay, “and”, maąr, “but, except that”, meða, “although, while at the same time”, alang, “when, whenever”, fan, “when, at such a time that”, epper, “because”, and afti, “after”. Coördinating Wackernagel particles include fannat, “whereupon”, ya, “indeed”, and ylfa, “just so”. Thus: breaka he ðam up, ða tarb, befós ða treos, alang sef he ðam, “the bull breaks it, beside the tree, whenever he sees it”; byldi ech á huss, maąr fannat hav ðat ynatyfąlla, “I built a house, but thereupon it fell in on itself”. Coördinate clauses typically – though not universally – feature verbs in the indicative.

Subordinate clauses, on the other hand, almost always feature verbs in subjunctive, and they show a basic SOV word order. They are introduced by subordinating conjunctions, which in some cases identical to Wackernagel particles. Particularly significant is the conjunction an, “if”: ech dyr ða huss bylda, an ða sonn ląmmera, “I would prefer to build the house, if the sun were to shine” (contrasted with coördinate ech dyr ða huss bylda, fan ląmmer ða sonn, “I would prefer to build the house when the sun shines”.

Subordinate and coördinate clauses both typically follow the main clause, but may be fronted for emphasis.

Relative Clauses

Relative clauses in Øynduyska are introduced by the conjunction sam. Where the relativised noun is the subject of the relative clause, the subject is dropped from the clause itself: ða mann sam ða tarben saoch, “the man who saw the bull”. Where the relativised noun is instead the object of the relative clause, however, the object is retained (typically as a pronoun) in the relative clause: ða mann sam ða tarb henn saoch, “the man who the bull saw”. Likewise, pronouns are retained for relativised obliques: ða mann sam ech sitt befós hes, “the man whom I sit next to”. Notably, however, possessors may not be relativised.

As can be seen, relative clauses adopt the same SOV word order as subordinate clauses.

This relative construction is often used in producing a particulary emphatic structure, with the third-person copula form is followed by a dative pronoun and the relative conjunction: is mi sam ða cuppa pluckt, “it’s me who took the cup”.

The same form of clause may also be used when the modified noun plays no syntactic role in the ‘relative’ clause per se – particularly in cases of mental or semantic content. Thus, ða yðącht sam she ða tarb pluckt…, “the thought that she stole the bull”. Such clauses may even appear as arguments of verbs themselves, without a head noun, typically fronted: sam she ða tarb pluckt, staąt het mi – “that she stole the bull shocks me”.  

A different relative pronoun may be used for relativisation of indefinite pronouns. The simplest alternatives are fa, for animates, and fas, for inanimates. The syntax is otherwise as for sam. Thus, fa ða tarb pluckt, saoch het ða cnafa, “the one who took the bull saw the boy”.

The relative pronouns fili and fliech may also be used in this way – the former in the sense of “whichever (of these)”, and the latter in the sense of “whatever sort”. Thus fili ða tarb pluckt…, “whichever (of them) took the bull…”, and fliech ða tarb pluckt…, “whatever sort of thing took the bull…”. However, these relativisers may also be used as adjectives, in the sense “whichever ___  it was that” and “whatever sort of ___ it was that”: fili huss hav ybyld beon van hem… “whichever house it was that was built by him…”; fliech huss hav ybyld beon van hem, “whatever sort of house it was that was built by him”.

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3 thoughts on “Øyndusyka – XV (Coördinate, Subordinate and Relative Clauses)

  1. Hans says:

    if the son were to shine A biblical reference? 😉

  2. No no, it’s a shinto thing. Children of the sun goddess and all that.

    [thanks]

  3. […] Near the end of this first phase of Øynduyska. […]

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