Sankoff, G., & Brown, P. (1976). The origins of syntax in discourse: A case study of Tok Pisin relatives. Language, 52(3), 631-666.
The structure of relative clauses has attracted considerable attention in recent years, and a number of authors have carried out analyses of the syntax of relativization. In our investigation of syntactic structure and change in New Guinea Tok Pisin, we find that the basic processes involved in relativization have much broader discourse functions, and that relativization is only a special instance of the application of general ‘bracketing’ devices used in the organization of information. Syntactic structure, in this case, can be understood as a component of, and derivative from, discourse structure.