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Preliminary Remarks On Clause Hierarchy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with how clauses combine to constitute texts. It presents a discussion on the concept of 'discourse units' and its relation to the grammatical category of 'clauses'. Traditional Semitic grammars usually distinguish two types of clause relations: coordination and subordination. Coordination refers to asyndetic clause connections or constructions with a coordinating conjunction; subordination covers subject and complement clauses, relative clauses, and other clauses introduced by a subordinating conjunction. In traditional Semitic grammars one can find more than once the remark that a 'subordinate clause' functions as a clause constituent in a main clause, be it as subject, as complement, as attribute or as adjunct. M. O'Connor in his main paper presented at the IOSOT Congress at Basel in 2001 argued that a barrier should be maintained between 'linguistics' and 'biblical exegesis' or 'reading'. The chapter concludes that textual criticism and linguistics are much more interrelated than O'Connor suggests.

Keywords: biblical exegesis; linguistics; M. O'Connor; subordinate clause; traditional Semitic grammars

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