M.A. Theses in Linguistics at the University of North Dakota (Abstracts)
Kim, Deborah 2014
Subordination in Sarikoli
Sarikoli [srh] is an Iranian language spoken in Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County
in northwest China. This thesis describes three types of subordinate clauses in Sarikoli: 1)
relative clauses, 2) complement clauses, and 3) adverbial clauses. The relative clause and
complement clause structures are briefly compared with those found in related Iranian
and Pamir languages (Persian, Tajik, Shughni, Rushani, and Wakhi).
Sarikoli relative clauses are placed before the head noun. Common nouns, proper
nouns, demonstratives, and genetic terms may be relativized, but pronouns are generally
not relativized. A wide range of syntactic functions are allowed for the common argument
in both the relative clause and the matrix clause, including A, S, O, and oblique roles.
The two main relativizers used for Sarikoli RCs are =dʒɛndʒ and =itʃuz. The =dʒɛndʒ
relativizer is used for finite RCs, while =itʃuz is used for non-finite clauses (including
future events with an infinitive verb). Other ways of forming RCs include headless RCs,
unmarked RCs, and using the genitive marker –an.
Sarikoli has at least two types of finite complement clauses and two types of non-
finite complementation strategies. In the nominalized complement, the nominalizer -i
attaches to the infinitive stem of the verb. The infinitival complement also contains the
infinitive stem of the verb, but is unmarked. The pre-verbal finite complement clause is
unmarked and contains a finite verb stem and a subject-verb agreement clitic. The post-
verbal finite complement clause is placed after the matrix clause verb; it is introduced by
the subordinating conjunction iko and contains a finite stem of the verb and a subject-verb
Adverbial clauses are marked by various subordinating morphemes, including tsa ‘if’,
qati ‘with’, alo ‘when’, avon ‘for’, az ‘from’, and the dative marker =ir, which generally
occur at the end of the adverbial clause. Most types of adverbial clauses are non-finite,
containing verbs in their infinitive stem and lacking subject-verb agreement clitics. Like
regular adverbs, adverbial clauses usually precede the entire matrix clause or immediately
follow the subject. Sarikoli has structurally-distinctive adverbial clause constructions for
expressing time, reason, purpose, condition, concession, means and simultaneity, and sub-
This thesis is available at the UND library.