Grammar

Appositive relative clauses in English : discourse functions by Rudy Loock

By Rudy Loock

This booklet sheds new gentle on Appositive Relative Clauses (ARCs), a constitution that's commonly studied from a purely syntactic perspective, against Determinative (or Restrictive) Relative Clauses (DRCs). during this quantity, ARCs are tested from a discourse/pragmatic standpoint, independently of DRCs, that allows you to offer a favorable definition of the constitution. After a presentation of the morphosyntactic, semantic and pragmatic features of ARCs, a taxonomy in their capabilities in discourse is verified for either written and spoken English in keeping with the result of a corpus-based research. Constraints are then outlined inside of an information-packaging method of syntactic buildings to teach why audio system select ARCs over different competing allostructures, i.e. syntactic buildings that fulfil related discourse capabilities (e.g. nominal appositives, autonomous clauses, adverbials, noun premodifiers, topicalization). the result is a deeper figuring out of the richness of ARCs of their usual contexts of use.

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Additional info for Appositive relative clauses in English : discourse functions and competing structures

Example text

Il est parti trois jours à Londres, qui est une opportunité formidable pour lui. He is gone three days to London, which is an opportunity great for him. In Spanish, relative pronouns are also distributed according to the determinative/ appositive status of the RC. The relative pronoun quien appears only in ARCs: (129) El hombre, quien estaba de mal humor, se fue a dormir. (= ARC) The man, who was in a bad mood, went to sleep. a. *El hombre quien estaba de mal humor se fue a dormir. (= DRC) Likewise, the pronoun cuando (when) can only appear in DRCs.

Traditional constituency tests like the question test: (123) d. A: What would you like? B: I’d like a book that deals with the Civil War. (124) e. A: What did he buy? B: #He bought a house which he’ll move into in June. v. Topicalization of antecedent+RC: (123) e. A book that deals with the Civil War I’d like. (124) f. A house which he’ll move into in June he bought. Chapter 1. Definitions and previous studies This contrast in syntactic possibilities reveals a difference depending on the kind of indefinite antecedent.

The antecedent and the RC cannot be referred to using the pronoun one when the RC is an ARC, but this is possible when the RC is a DRC. Below are Mc Cawley’s (1988: 420) famous examples: (72) Tom has a violin that once belonged to Heifetz, and Jane has one too. (= DRC) (73) Tom has a violin, which once belonged to Heifetz, and Jane has one too. (= ARC) In (72), the pronoun one stands for the whole NP a violin that once belonged to Heifetz: Jane owns, like Tom, a violin that used to belong to Heifetz.

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