Navajo in the typology of internally-headed relatives

Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten, Keir Moulton


This paper considers the semantics of Navajo internally-headed relative clauses

(IHRCs) with quantified heads. The results of storyboard-based fieldwork show

that when the quantifier ’ałníí’dóó ‘half’ occurs in RC-internal position, it necessarily

takes RC-internal scope. This result suggests that Navajo IHRCs are amenable

to analyses given to Japanese IHRCs (Hoshi 1995; Shimoyama 1999) but challenges

claims by Faltz (1995) and Grosu (2012), who argue that t’áá ’ałtso ‘all’

invariably takes RC-external scope. We show that while IHRCs with t’áá ’ałtso

do not have precisely the truth conditions expected for EHRCs, their truth conditions

differ from what might be expected given a Shimoyama-style IHRC analysis

(pace Grosu 2012). However, we consider one way to explain this behavior while

maintaining surface scope for all Navajo quantifiers.

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