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Factive Relative Clauses

In English, factive relative clauses are introduced by `the fact that' preceded by verbs like `know, forget, remember', etc.

These contrast with non-factive sentences such as:

The latter examples sentences contrast with the previous three in that they refer to specific instances of some event, rather than general facts about someone or something; it is possible that Ram in the second example actually speaks Tamil, but didn't happen to speak it during the incident referred to, while in sentence it is clear that Ram doesn't know Tamil. The second set, in other words, refer to specific events or acts, rather than what is (at least thought to be) facts, i.e. true knowledge.

In Tamil, factive sentences consist of a sentence followed by ngra + NP or -ngradu (nominalizations of the quotative verb) plus psychological verbs like ׻ teri `know', mara `forget', ׽Բ ׶ԧ poy sollu `lie', etc. That is, in Tamil, lies are also dealt with in factive constructions.

Often, as in the last sentence above, the factive ngra is used more as a verbalizer than as a fact-establishing construction due to the lack of any other verb in the construction daalarukku muppadu ruupaa `(There are) thirty rupees to the dollar.' Often in English ngra corresponds to prepositions or prepositional phrases like `of, as, which is, according to which, as in', i.e. `the rate OF eight rupees to the dollar'.

In sentence (xx) above there is a translation problem, i.e., literally (xx) says `I forgot about the lie that it is a fact that the minister takes bribes' which may seem strange to some English speakers. However, perhaps `contend falsely that it is a fact' as a translation for `X ngkra poy sollu' might help overcome this problem in English.I am indebted to E. Annamalai for this example. One might also note that there has recently appeared a movie with the title `True Lies.' This may seem oxymoronic but perhaps not if the emphasis is on the notion that `it is true that it is a lie'.





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Next: X ngravaru: Up: Factive Constructions Previous: Factive Constructions



Haorld_F.Schiffman