8.10. 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 8.81. 

le prenu poi zvati le kumfa poi blanu cu masno
The person who is-in the room which is-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 8.82. 

le prenu poi zvati le kumfa poi ke'axire zbasu ke'a cu masno
The person who is-in the room which IT-sub-2 built IT   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 16), which is syntactically a series of sumti followed by the special cmavo zo'u, prefixed to the relative clause bridi:

Example 8.83. 

le prenu poi ke'a goi ko'a zo'u
The man who (IT = it1 :
ko'a zvati le kumfa poi ke'a goi ko'e zo'u
it1 is-in the room which (IT = it2 :
ko'a zbasu ko'e cu masno
it1 built it2)   is-slow.

Example 8.83 is more verbose than Example 8.82, 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 7.5).