Finite and Non-Finite Subordinate Clauses Sási Erzsébet 11 th April, 2014
Finite Subordinate Clauses • Tensed Is there any construction that contains the plain form of the verb? • 3 main types: – content clauses – relative clauses – comparative clauses
Content Clauses • Function: – Subject – Complement of a verb, noun, adjective or preposition • What’s the function in the following sentences? a) I KNOW she likes it. b) We stayed in BECAUSE it was raining. c) That they accepted the offer is very fortunate. d) The FACT that it's so cheap makes me suspicious.
Content Clauses • Clause types: – Declarative He didn't know that everybody supported the proposal. v Subordinator: that – Closed interrogative He didn't know whether everybody supported the proposal. v Whether / if instead of Subject-auxiliary inversion
Content Clauses – Open interrogative He didn't know which proposal everybody supported. v Interrogative phrase in initial position; no Subject-auxiliary inversion – Exclamative He didn't know what a lot of them supported the proposal. v Mostly have the same form as their main clause counterparts
Relative Clauses • Exercises
Relative Clauses • I. Relative clauses as Modifier 1. a) I agree with [the guy who spoke last]. b) I agree with [the guy that spoke last]. 2. a) He lost [the key which I lent him]. b) He lost [the key I lent him]. – Relativised element: • Overt / covert • Relates back to the Head noun • Functions: Subject, Object, etc.
Relative Clauses • II. Supplementary relative clauses – set off by punctuation or intonation; supplement status (↔ integrated) a) I've lent the car to my brother, who has just come over from New Zealand. b) He overslept again, which made him miss the train. – relativised element: • always almost overt • relates back to a larger unit
Relative Clauses • III. The fused relative construction 1. a) Whoever wrote this must be very naive. b) You can invite who you like. 2. a) He quickly spent what she gave him. b) What books he has are in the attic. – Structurally more complex – Are the underlined sequences clauses? – Whoever = the person who What = that which – ‘fused’ construction → the Head of the noun phrase and the relativised element are fused together – looks superficially like open interrogative content clauses
Comparative Clauses • generally function as Complement to the prepositions as and than 1. a) I'm as ready as I ever will be. b) As was expected, Sue won easily. 2. a) More people came than I'd expected. b) He has more vices than he has virtues. • structurally incomplete relative to main clauses: there are elements understood but not overtly expressed (1. a, 2. a: missing Complement 2. b: missing Subject)
Non-Finite Subordinate Clauses • three major types: 1. Infinitival a) He wants to see you. b) I can't help you. 2. Gerund-participial a) Buying a car was a mistake. b) He's the guy standing up. 3. Past-participial a) All things considered, it's OK. b) We got told off.
Non-Finite Subordinate Clauses • Most non-finite clauses have no overt Subject • Under certain conditions: – Inf. : in the to-variant with initial for as subordinator For them to be so late is very unusual. – Ger. -part. : a personal pronoun Subject usually appears in accusative case, but genitives are found in relatively formal style We objected to them/their being given extra privileges. – Past-part. : All things considered, it's OK.
Non-Finite Subordinate Clauses • Infinitivals: – much the most frequent – very wide range of functions • Subject: To err is human. • Complement of a verb: He wants to see you. • Complement of a noun: I applaud [her willingness to compromise]. • Complement of an adjective: She's [willing to compromise]. • Adjunct: She walks to work to keep fit. • Modifier of a noun: I need [an album to keep the photos in]. • Prepositions take gerund-participials rather than infinitivals as Complement: He left [without saying good-bye]. but the compound in order and so as are exceptions: She stayed at home [in order to study for the exam].
Sources • http: //www. lel. ed. ac. uk/grammar/overview. html • Exercises: – Michael Vince (2009): Advanced Language Practice (p. 114, Exercise 2) – Kathy Gude, Michael Duckworth (2009): Proficiency Masterclass (p. 14, E) – Antonia Clare, JJ Wilson (2012): Speakout Advanced SB (p. 36, 5 -6)
Thank you for your attention! : )