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3 Defining and Non-Defining Relative Clauses

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines how both relative clauses and articular participial clauses are used interchangeably to perform similar functions. While clauses may perform a variety of functions, one of the functions of a relative clause is that of expansion. In expansion, "The secondary clause expands the primary clause, by (a) elaborating it, (b) extending it or (c) enhancing it". This notion of expansion is illustrated by means of analogy with mathematics. Such clauses are categorized as defining relative clauses. According to halliday, a non-defining relative clause "functions as a kind of descriptive gloss to the main clause". These clauses are not embedded but stand in hypotactic relation. These types of non-embedded, dependent clauses abound in the New Testament. In Matt 10:26, the subject of the main clause is interpreted as fully specific; it does not need to be further defined by locating it within a subset of a general class.

Keywords: defining relative clauses; non-defining relative clause



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