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Syntactic Subordination Of Clauses

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Chapter Summary

Relative clauses may be attributive and modify a head nominal or they may stand independently of a head nominal and have themselves the status of a nominal. We shall refer to these types as attributive relative clauses and nominal relative clauses respectively. Relative clauses that have attributive function are always placed after the nominal that they modify. The distribution of syndetic and asyndetic attributive relative clauses is conditioned to a large extent by the definiteness of the head nominal. A distinction should also be made between restrictive relative clauses, which limit the reference of the head noun, and non-restrictive ones, which present supplementary information concerning a nominal without limiting its reference. This difference in function sometimes gives rise to distinct syntactic structures.

Keywords: clauses; nominal relative clause; subordinate clause; syntactic subordination

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