This study provides the first account of the relativization system of
Shipibo-Konibo (SK), a Panoan language from the Peruvian Amazon. It is based on a corpus of spontaneous text, complemented by plenty of elicited material. In addition to examining the rich variety of relative constructions available in SK, major grammatical features of the language are addressed and illustrated to different degrees (e.g., basic constituent order, case-marking, agreement on adverbials, second position clitics, etc.). The dominant relativization pattern in SK involves embedded, moderately nominalized relative clauses; however, nominalization is not a differential strategy since nominalizers do not help identify the grammatical role of clausal arguments. Although
SK has a fairly complex switch-reference system and clause-chaining is pervasive in discourse, reference-marked clauses do not generally take part in relativization.
A finding of special typological interest is the use of structurally similar prenominal, postnominal, and internally-headed relatives; non-referential relatives may be of the adjoined type. As for relativization strategies, SK may employ anaphoric pronouns all along the "Accessibility Hierarchy"; this strategy is clearly attested prenominally, violating the order found in the normal interclausal anaphoric situation. Another remarkable finding is the use of an absolutive pivot in internally-headed relativization; i.e., an instance of syntactic ergativity in a language with an otherwise nominative-accusative syntax.