Headless relative clauses (e.g., the bracketed string
in Luca ate [what Adam prepared]) have received
much less attention in the linguistics literature than
related constructions like headed relative clauses and
wh-interrogative clauses, despite the many morpho-syntactic
and semantic puzzles they raise within a language, across
languages, and for our understanding of human language
in general. Headless relative clauses have been even
more neglected in the study of Mesoamerican languages,
although preliminary and isolated investigations have
shown that they are present and very productive.
this project, we want to pursue the broadest and most
articulated cross-linguistic study of headless relative
clauses that has been conducted so far and the first
systematic study of the morpho-syntactic and semantic
properties of headless relative clauses across more
than 20 Mesoamerican languages from different language
families by a team of more than 20 graduate students
and scholars from Mexico, the US, Canada and France.
providing a general methodology to systematically collect
and analyze data about headless relative clauses across
languages, we want to raise the awareness and knowledge
about headless relative clauses in Mesoamerican languages
and, more broadly, about those Mesoamerican languages
in general. Our main findings will appear in an edited
volume in English by a main academic publisher. This
will ensure academic visibility to Mexican students
and scholars in the English-speaking world and high-standards
in academic and publishing quality.
principal investigators of the project are Ivano
(University of California San Diego),
Torrence (University of
California Los Angeles), and Roberto
Zavala (CIESAS Sureste).
project is supported by grants from UC MEXUS-CONACYT,
UC San Diego Social Sciences, and UCLA Academic Senate.