In English, and many other languages, subordination is often marked in the subordinate clause.

  1. So complement clauses can, for example, begin with a complementizer such as English "that."

e.g. "I know that Howard must have eaten here.

But do any natural languages mark the verb in the matrix clause as taking a complement clause, leaving the complement clause itself with the same from that an independent clause has, like so...

e.g. "I know-[infix that indicates that "know" takes a complement clause] Howard must have eaten here.

  1. Relative clauses can, for example, contain special relative pronouns or have a special word order.

e.g. "The man whom we confined has escaped.

But do any natural languages mark the noun as being modified by a clause subsequent to the one in which the noun occurs and having the form of an independent clause, like so...

e.g. The man(suffix indicates that the next clause modifies this noun) has escaped; we had confined him.

  1. Adverbial clauses can, for example, be marked by subordinators.

e.g. We were relieved when the man returned.

But do any natural languages mark the verb as being modified by a clause subsequent to the one in which said verb occurs--a clause with the same form that an independent clause has?

e.g. We were relieved (infix means "at the same time as" and also conveys that the following clause is adverbial to the one in which the infix occurs) the man returned.

  • "Marked in the matrix clause" is not the same thing as "mark the verb in the matrix [by means of an affix]". You appear to be looking for the latter?
    – Cerberus
    Nov 17, 2013 at 3:57
  • What I had in mind was that subordination would be marked in the matrix clause; by an affix on the noun for equivalents to relative clauses, and by an affix on the verb in the case of equivalents to complement clauses and adverbial clauses. Nov 17, 2013 at 6:59
  • Right, so perhaps you could edit your title to "...marked by an affix in the matrix clause"? Because otherwise it might include antecedents like Latin id facere, ut..." "ensure [it], that..., or arguably English she is such, that..., where such indicates that a subordinate clause must follow to modify it.
    – Cerberus
    Nov 17, 2013 at 15:18
  • But in both of your examples, the complement clause is introduced with a complementizer. I would be interested to know whether there are any languages in which the subordination of the clause is marked only in the matrix clause by either a word or an affix. Nov 17, 2013 at 20:13
  • Ah OK. For clarity, maybe add "only" to the title. Though your examples are clear enough.
    – Cerberus
    Nov 17, 2013 at 20:26


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