On 19 August 2011 04:35, Anthony Miles <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I know that some SOV languages (such as Japanese), the verb has relative
> forms. Presumably this is a suffix in Japanese, since even head-marking SOV
> languages prefer suffixation. What forms are relative verb forms derived
> from?
> Modal suffixes? Subjunctives and optatives?  Affixed relative pronouns?

Actually, in Japanese the relative forms are indistinguishable from the
plain (non-polite) forms used in independent clauses. In other words, you
form a relative clause by simply putting it in front of the completed noun,
without changing anything to the verb. For instance:

Shōnen wa tsuki o miru: the boy looks at the moon.
tsuki o miru shōnen: the boy who looks at the moon.

In my conlang Moten (also SOV), verbs have true relative forms (I call them
"dependent forms" as they are used also with completive subclauses). They
aren't related to modals, subjunctives or optatives, as those things are
orthogonal to being in a dependent or independent clause. They are just
their own thing. Their form depends on the form of the finite verb. For

Linean |lezdu|n ito: the bird is singing.
|Lezdu|n itos linean: the bird that is singing.
Linean |lezdu|n etok: the bird was singing.
|Lezdu|n eto linean: the bird that was singing.

Basque (another SOV language) probably has the coolest relative forms: to
form a relative clause, you put the verb of the clause in the *genitive*
(yes, as if it was a noun!) and add it in front of a noun. To take an
example straight from my LCC4 presentation:

Piarresek atzo leihotik lorontzia aurdiki du: Peter has thrown the vase
yesterday through the window.
Piarresek atzo leihotik aurdiki duen lorontzia: the vase that Peter has
thrown yesterday through the window.

Yes, _-en_ is the Basque (possessive) genitive case suffix!

It goes even further: Basque can form a different kind of relative clauses,
expressing wishful thinking, that are formed by adding to the verb the
suffix of the allative case, followed by the suffix of the locative
genitive! (that's surdéclinaison, the coolest feature of Basque bar none! :)
). For instance (derived from an example from my LCC4 presentation):

Gizona hemen da: the man is here.
Hemen delako gizona: the man who is supposed to be here.

As you see, various SOV languages have various ways to handle verbs in
relative clauses, and relative affixes (when they are needed at all) needn't
be derived from modal affixes.
Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.