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Is there a language w/out dependent clauses, i.e. one in which you couldn't say e.g. "I know that x is here" w/ a clause, where the main clause is in italic and dependent in bold (and that overlaps, because you may analyze it as belonging to this or that). I suppose the lack of dependent clauses might be possible if a language would exclusively use a different constituent (i.e. not a sentence or clause) to convey the same meaning. Or maybe you lack so complex syntax in some pidgins (which would be unlikely to generalize to full-blown natural languages)

NOTE: The original question was about "relative clauses", which seems to be a proper subset of dependent clauses that I intended it to be about

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    Yes, relative clauses are a (large, but proper) subset of subordinate or dependent clauses (those two terms are identical). And there is a debate raging now in syntactic circles (well, some of them) about whether Pirahã has any subordinate clauses at all, or not. Most linguists these days don't really care much; languages vary a lot, after all.
    – jlawler
    May 30 '19 at 21:35
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It seems Pirahã may qualify (my stress):

Since we do not find unambiguous relative clauses in the corpus, we cannot use them to conclude that Pirahã has recursive embedding.

As Pirahã isn't a pidgin, this could be taken as a tentative evidence that such full-blown languages may exist

PS.

...the lack of relative clauses might be possible if a language would exclusively use a different constituent (i.e. not a sentence or clause) to convey the same meaning.

It might be also possible if you were always compelled to use a separate sentence, e.g. "I know something. It is that x is here." Maybe this is the case in Pirahã

EDIT: If "relative clause" is not the same as "dependent clause", as suggested by @amegnusen, my answer explodes (assuming the authors of 1 make the distinction, which is not clear)

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There are many kinds of dependent clause. The example you provided is a content clause and not a relative clause.

In Riffian, depending on the dependent clause used, this one can be introduced by a subordinator or not. There is a subordinator "i" for the relative clauses. But nothing is used for the content clauses.

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  • I see. We're probably using different terminology. This seems to be my fault, as I meant a catch-all term like dependent clause when I said "relative clause". As for Riffian, since it has both relative and content clauses, it clearly has dependent clauses
    – jaam
    May 30 '19 at 15:10

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