8.9. Relative clauses within relative clauses

For the most part, these are straightforward and uncomplicated: a sumti that is part of a relative clause bridi may itself be modified by a relative clause:

Example 8.78. 

leprenupoizvatilekumfapoiblanucumasno
Thepersonwhois-intheroomwhichis-blue is-slow.

However, an ambiguity can exist if ke'a is used in a relative clause within a relative clause: does it refer to the outermost sumti, or to the sumti within the outer relative clause to which the inner relative clause is attached? The latter. To refer to the former, use a subscript on ke'a:

Example 8.79. 

leprenupoizvatilekumfapoike'axirezbasuke'acumasno
Thepersonwhois-intheroomwhichIT-sub-2builtIT is-slow.

The person who is in the room which he built is slow.


Here, the meaning of IT-sub-2 is that sumti attached to the second relative clause, counting from the innermost, is used. Therefore, ke'axipa (IT-sub-1) means the same as plain ke'a.

Alternatively, you can use a prenex (explained in full in Chapter 8), which is syntactically a series of sumti followed by the special cmavo zo'u, prefixed to the relative clause bridi:

Example 8.80. 

leprenupoike'agoiko'azo'u
Themanwho(IT=it1:
ko'azvatilekumfapoike'agoiko'ezo'u
it1is-intheroomwhich(IT=it2:
ko'azbasuko'ecumasno
it1builtit2) is-slow.

Example 8.80 is more verbose than Example 8.79, but may be clearer, since it explicitly spells out the two ke'a cmavo, each on its own level, and assigns them to the assignable cmavo ko'a and ko'e (explained in Section 8.1).