Van de Velde, Mark (2017). The augment as a construct form marker in Eton relative clause constructions. In: Gratien Gualbert Atindogbe and Rebecca Grollemund (eds.) Relative Clauses in Cameroonian Languages: Structure, Function and Semantics. Berlin. Mouton de Gruyter, p 47-66.


Prefinal version.

The only formal characteristic that all restrictive relative clause constructions have in common in Eton is that the relativised noun is marked by means of a prefix í- ~ H– traditionally called the augment. Eton does not normally use a relative relator and only a subset of TAM-forms have a special relative verb form, so that for subject relatives the augment on the relativised noun is often the only indication for the presence of a relative clause. Hence, relativisation is basically head marking, and the augment is best analysed as a construct form marker in Eton (see Creissels (2009) for an earlier use of this notion in the analysis of sub-Saharan languages). I use the term augment for the Eton construct form marker and its cognates in closely related languages such as Ewondo, Fang and Basaá, without implying that this morpheme can be identified as a reflex of a prenominal Proto-Bantu augment as reconstructed by Meeussen (1967: 99). Rather, the term is here used for any morpheme that is synchronically preposed, procliticised or prefixed to a nominal element and that can be argued to be cognate with an augment, pronominal prefix or weak demonstrative in other Bantu languages.



Posted on

24 February 2017