Towards a unified analysis of correlatives and indefinites in Balkar

Ekaterina Morgunova, Ilya Naumov


In this paper we consider two morphosyntactically similar constructions in Balkar: correlative clauses and wh-indefinites. They both consist of three elements: (i) an interrogative pronoun, (ii) a verb marked by the conditional suffix -sa, and (iii) the particle da 'even'. We demonstrate that despite superficial similarities there are certain semantic and syntactic differences between them. Specifically, the correlatives are interpreted definitely and are merged as clausal adjuncts and the whindefinites function as indefinite NPs and are merged as arguments of the main predicate. We develop an analysis that maintains the contribution of wh-expressions and the particle da and argue that the point of divergence is the -sa marked element. While in correlatives it is a true verbal predicate, in wh-indefinites it is a grammaticalized marker that denotes a choice function.


correlatives; wh-indefinites; choice functions; even; Balkar

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Copyright (c) 2020 Ekaterina Morgunova, Ilya Naumov

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