TOPIC 6: The Clause (continued...)

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2 In summary, the most important types of clauses are: clause FINITENESS 4 Finite Clauses finite-clause FINITE- CLAUSE-TYPE nonfinite-clause NONFINITE- CLAUSE-TYPE simple-finite-clause I like ice-cream finite-clause-with-connector because I like ice-cream that-clause that I like ice-cream wh-nominal-clause what I like relative-clause that I like infinitive-clause to like ice-cream present-participle-clause liking icre-cream past-participle-clause liked by all A finite clause is one which has a Finite verb (which agrees with the Subject) and usually a Subject. There are 5 Types of Finite clauses: I like ice-cream because it tastes nice. Simple finite clause: I like ice-cream Simple finite with connector: because it tastes nice Relative-clause: the car that Mary likes. Wh-nominal clause: What I like is what I get. That-clause: I said that you should go. the fact that Mary likes this car 2

3 Note the following cases of ellipsed Subject in a finite clause: I like Mary but ø hate Jane the car that ø ate Paris the car that paris liked Simple finite clause Simple finite-clauses are most common clauses. A plain sentence consists of a single simple finite-clause: I am going to Sydney. Two or more simple finite-clauses can join together as a complex sentence: I am leaving but I will be back. When a simple finite-clause is independent, it can be declarative, interrogative or imperative: Declarative: Interrogative (wh): Interrogative (yes-no): I will be back. When will you be back? Will you be back? Imperative: Come back! 4.2 Finite clause with connector Finite clauses often function as Adjunct in a clause, specifying some circumstance of the clause. They usually have a connector at front, signalling the relation to the main clause: Reason: Temporal: Condition: I left because she cooks badly. I left while he was in the bath. if you eat it, I will pay for it. Etc. 4.3 Wh nominal clause Wh-nominal clauses generally function as Subject, Object or Complement, usually replacing reported speech or thought without explicit detail (I told him to be here at 11 -> I told him when he should be here). Wh-nominal clauses can represent content (what is said or thought) or polarity: Content type: I told them...what I like....when I like it...who I like... how I like it... which car I wanted...what a good time I had...on which day I was going 3

5 4.4 That clause (fact clause) A that-clause is a finite clause fronted by that, and which represents a fact being presented to the addressee. Most typically, they appear as Subject or Object in a verbal or mental process: I told him that I was not going I don t know that Smith was right. The fact need not be a true fact, it is just a unit of information being dealt with. It could be a fact declared to be false, as in the following: It is not true that she is silly. These clauses often appear as Subject: That she is wise is known by many. That you are here pleases me. That clauses can also post-modify a noun (the Qualifier slot) as in the following: The report that I am dead was greatly exaggerated. The fact that she was there (compare: the man that was here) Note the special case: He said he was coming. We might say that this is a that-clause with the that elided (left out). On the other hand, we might say that this is a case where a simple-finite clause fills the Direct Object slot. Both answers will be accepted in the Exam. 4.5 Relative Clauses A relative clause appears as a post-modifier to an NP (in the Qualifier slot). The man that I saw The men that saw me. The man who I saw They are syntactically similar to wh-clauses, in that the pronoun at front (called here the relative pronoun) represents one of the constituents of the clause. E.g. The man that I saw ø yesterday that stands in for the missing Object (I saw the man) The man that ø saw me yesterday that stands in for the missing Subject (the man saw me) 5 The place that I came from ø that stands in for part of the missing Adjunct (I came from the place)

6 However relative clauses differ from wh-clauses: They function only as a postmodifier of an NP, while a wh-nominal clause cannot. In most cases, that can be used instead of a wh-pronoun: the man that came to dinner, the man who came to dinner. Defining and nondefining relative clauses: Above are examples of defining relative clauses. There are also nondefining relative clauses. A defining relative clause appears without commas: a) The students who are bright passed the exam easily. A nondefining relative clause is punctuated with commas: b) The students, who are bright, passed the exam easily. The defining relative clause limits the reference, so that in (a), only the students who were bright passed the exam. A nondefining relative clause does not change the reference of the NP, but rather adds extra information. (b) Could thus be reworded as: c) The students passed the exam easily. They are bright. Distinguishing wh-clause from relative-clause: both relative clauses and thatclauses can start with a wh-pronoun. if the clause is Subject or Object, it is a wh-clause: who I like is not your business if the clause is postmodifying a noun, it is a relative clause: the man who I like. Generally, but not always, the wh-word in a relative clause can be replaced by that. Distinguishing relative-clause from that-clause: both relative clauses and thatclauses can start with that. if the clause is Subject or Object, it is a that-clause. She said that if the clause is postmodifying a noun: o if the noun is a container of information (fact, report, etc.), it is probably a that clause. (the report that you had died) o With a relative-clause, the that can generally be substituted for a wh-pronoun: the man that -> the man who. Not true for that-clauses. o With the relative clause, the that stands in for one of the constituents of the clause, so one should be missing. In a that clause, no constituent is elided. 6

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