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§ 1. The complex sentence is a polypredicative construction built up on the principle of subordination. It is derived from two or more base sentences one of which performs the role of a matrix in relation to the others, the insert sentences. The matrix function of the corresponding base sentence may be more rigorously and less rigorously pronounced, depending on the type of subordinative connection realised.

When joined into one complex sentence, the matrix base sentence becomes the principal clause of it and the insert sentences, its subordinate clauses.

The complex sentence of minimal composition includes two clauses — a principal one and a subordinate one. Although the principal clause positionally dominates the subordinate clause, the two form a semantico-syntactic unity within the framework of which they are in fact interconnected, so that the very existence of either of them is supported by the existence of the other.

The subordinate clause is joined to the principal clause either by a subordinating connector (subordinator), or, with some types of clauses, asyndetically. The functional character of the subordinative connector is so explicit that even in traditional grammatical descriptions of complex sentences this connector was approached as a transformer of an independent sentence into a subordinate clause. Cf.:

Moyra left the room. (I do remember quite well) that Moyra left the room. (He went on with his story) after Moyra left the room. (Fred remained in his place) though Moyra left the room. (The party was spoilt) because Moyra left the room. (It was a surprise to us all) that Moyra left the room

This paradigmatic scheme of the production of the subordinate clause vindicates the possible interpretation of contact-clauses in asyndetic connection as being joined to the principal clause by means of the 'zero'-connector. Cf.: —» (How do you know) 0 Moyra left the room?

Needless to say, the idea of the zero-subordinator simply stresses the fact of the meaningful (functional) character of the asyndetic connection of clauses, not denying the actual absence of connector in the asyndetic complex sentence.

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The minimal, two-clause complex sentence is the main volume type of complex sentences. It is the most important type, first, in terms of frequency, since its textual occurrence by far exceeds that of multi-clause complex sentences; second, in terms of its paradigmatic status, because a complex sentence of any volume is analysable into a combination of two-clause complex sentence units.

§ 2. The structural features of the principal clause differ with different types of subordinate clauses. In particular, various types of subordinate clauses specifically affect the principal clause from the point of view of the degree of its completeness. As is well known from elementary grammatical descriptions, the principal clause is markedly incomplete in complex sentences with the subject and predicative subordinate clauses. E.g.:

And why we descend to their level is a mystery to me. (The gaping principal part outside the subject clause: ' — is a mystery to me'.) Your statement was just what you were expected to say. (The gaping principal part outside the predicative clause: 'Your statement was just — ')

Of absolutely deficient character is the principal clause of the complex sentence that includes both subject and predicative subordinate clauses: its proper segment, i. e. the word-string standing apart from the subordinate clauses is usually reduced to a sheer finite link-verb. Cf.: How he managed to pull through is what baffles me. (The principal clause representation: ' — is — ')

A question arises whether the treatment of the subject and predicative clauses as genuinely subordinate ones is rational at all. Indeed, how can the principal clause be looked upon as syntactically (positionally) dominating such clauses as perform the functions of its main syntactic parts, in particular, that of the subject? How can the link-verb, itself just a little more than an auxiliary element, be taken as the 'governing predicative construction' of a complex sentence?

However, this seeming paradox is to be definitely settled on the principles of paradigmatic theory. Namely, to understand the status of the 'deficiently incomplete and gaping' principal clause we must take into consideration the matrix nature of the principal clause in the sentence: the matrix presents the upper-level positional scheme which is to be completed by predicative constructions on the lower level.


In case of such clauses as subject and predicative, these are all the same subordinated to the matrix by way of being its embedded elements, i. e. the fillers of the open clausal positions introduced by it. Since, on the other hand, the proper segment of the principal clause, i. e. its 'nucleus', is predicatively deficient, the whole of the clause should be looked upon as merged with the corresponding filler-subordinate clauses. Thus, among the principal clauses there should be distinguished merger principal clauses and non-merger principal clauses, the former characterising complex sentences with clausal deployment of their main parts, the latter characterising complex sentences with clausal deployment of their secondary parts.

§ 3. The principal clause dominates the subordinate clause positionally, but it doesn't mean that by its syntactic status it must express the central informative part of the communication. The information perspective in the simple sentence does not repeat the division of its constituents into primary and secondary, and likewise the information perspective of the complex sentence is not bound to duplicate the division of its clauses into principal and subordinate. The actual division of any construction, be it simple or otherwise, is effected in the context, so it is as part of a continual text that the complex sentence makes its clauses into rheme-rendering and theme-rendering on the complex-sentence information level.

When we discussed the problem of the actual division of the sentence, we pointed out that in a neutral context the rhematic part of the sentence tends to be placed somewhere near the end of it (see Ch. XXII, § 4). This holds true both for the simple and complex sentences, so that the order of clauses plays an important role in distributing primary and secondary information among them. Cf.: The boy was friendly with me because I allowed him to keep the fishing line.

In this sentence approached as part of stylistically neutral text the principal clause placed in the front position evidently expresses the starting point of the information delivered, while the subordinate clause of cause renders the main sentential idea, namely, the speaker's explanation of the boy's attitude. The 'contraposition' presupposed by the actual division of the whole sentence is then like this: 'Otherwise the boy wouldn't have been friendly'. Should the clause-order of the utterance


be reversed, the informative roles of the clauses will be re-shaped accordingly: As I allowed the boy to keep the fishing line, he was friendly with me.

Of course, the clause-order, the same as word-order in general, is not the only means of indicating the correlative informative value of clauses in complex sentences; intonation plays here also a crucial role, and it goes together with various lexical and constructional rheme-forming elements, such as emphatic particles, constructions of meaningful antithesis, patterns of logical accents of different kinds.

Speaking of the information status of the principal clause, it should be noted that even in unemphatic speech this predicative unit is often reduced to a sheer introducer of the subordinate clause, the latter expressing practically all the essential information envisaged by the communicative purpose of the whole of the sentence. Cf.:

You see that mine is by far the most miserable lot. Just fancy that James has proposed to Mary! You know, kind sir, that I am bound to fasting and abstinence.

The principal clause-introducer in sentences like these performs also the function of keeping up the conversation, i.e. of maintaining the immediate communicative connection with the listener. This function is referred to as 'phatic'. Verbs of speech and especially thought are commonly used in phatic principals to specify 'in passing' the speaker's attitude to the information rendered by their rhematic subordinates:

I think there's much truth in what we hear about the matter. I'т sure I can't remember her name now.

Many of these introducer principals can be re-shaped into parenthetical clauses on a strictly equivalent basis by a mere change of position:

I can't remember her name now, I'т sure. There's much truth, I think, in what we hear about the matter.

§ 4. Of the problems discussed in linguistic literature in connection with the complex sentence, the central one concerns the principles of classification of subordinate clauses. Namely, the two different bases of classification are considered as competitive in this domain: the first is functional, the second is categorial.


In accord with the functional principle, subordinate clauses are to be classed on the analogy of the positional parts of the simple sentence, since it is the structure of the simple sentence that underlies the essential structure of the complex sentence (located on a higher level). In particular, most types of subordinate clauses meet the same functional question-tests as the parts of the simple sentence. The said analogy, certainly, is far from being absolute, because no subordinate clause can exactly repeat the specific character of the corresponding non-clausal part of the sentence; moreover, there is a deep difference in the functional status even between different categorial types of the same parts of the sentence, one being expressed by a word-unit, another by a word-group, still another by a substitute. Cf.:

You can see my state. You can see my wretched state. You can see my state being wretched. You can see that my state is wretched. You can see that. —»What can you see?

Evidently, the very variety of syntactic forms united by a central function and separated by specific sub-functions is brought about in language by the communicative need of expressing not only rough and plain ideas, but also innumerable variations of thought reflecting the ever developing reality.

Furthermore, there are certain (and not at all casual) clauses that do not find ready correspondences among the non-clausal parts of the sentence at all. This concerns, in particular, quite a number of adverbial clauses.

Still, a general functional analogy (though not identity) between clausal and lexemic parts of the sentence does exist, and, which is very important, it reflects the underlying general similarity of their semantic purpose. So, the functional classification of subordinate clauses on the simple sentence-part analogy does reflect the essential properties of the studied syntactic units and has been proved useful and practicable throughout many years of application to language teaching.

Now, in accord with the categorial principle, subordinate clauses аre to be classed by their inherent nominative properties irrespective of their immediate positional relations in the sentence. The nominative properties of notional words are reflected in their part-of-speech classification. A question

20*                                                                                    307

arises, can there be any analogy between types of subordinate clauses and parts of speech?

One need not go into either a detailed research or heated argument to see that no direct analogy is possible here. This is made clear by the mere reason that a clause is a predicative unit expressing an event, while a lexeme is a pure naming unit used only as material for the formation of predicative units, both independent and dependent.

On the other hand, if we approach the categorial principle of the characterisation of clauses on a broader basis than drawing plain part-of-speech analogies, we shall find it both plausible and helpful.

As a matter of fact, from the point of view of their general nominative features all the subordinate clauses can be divided into three categorial-semantic groups. The first group includes clauses that name an event as a certain fact. These pure fact-clauses may be terminologically defined as 'substantive-nominal'. Their substantive-nominal nature is easily checked by a substitute test:

That his letters remained unanswered annoyed him very much. That fact annoyed him very much. The woman knew only too well what was right and what was wrong. The woman knew those matters well.

The second group of clauses also name an event-fact, but, as different from the first group, this event-fact is referred to as giving a characteristic to some substantive entity (which, in its turn, may be represented by a clause or a phrase or a substantive lexeme). Such clauses, in compliance with our principle of choosing explanatory terminology, can be tentatively called 'qualification-nominal''. The qualification-nominal nature of the clauses in question, as is the case with the first group of clauses, is proved through the corresponding replacement patterns:

The man who came in the morning left a message. That man left a message. Did you find a place where we could make a fire? Did you find such kind of place?

Finally, the third group of clauses make their event-nomination into a dynamic relation characteristic of another, event or a process or a quality of various descriptions. In keeping with the existing practices, it will be quite natural to call these clauses 'adverbial'. Adverbial clauses are best


tested not by a replacement, but by a definitive transformation. Cf.:

Describe the picture as you see it. Describe the picture in the manner you see it. All will be well if we arrive in time. All will be well on condition that we arrive in time.

§ 5. When comparing the two classifications in the light of the systemic principles, it is easy to see that only by a very superficial observation they could be interpreted as alternative (i. e. contradicting each other). In reality they are mutually complementary, their respective bases being valid on different levels of analysis. The categorial features of clauses go together with their functional sentence-part features similar to the categorial features of lexemes going together with their functional characteristics as parts of the simple sentence.

Subordinate clauses are introduced by functional connective words which effect their derivation from base sentences. Categorially these sentence subordinators (or subordinating clausalisers) fall into the two basic types: those that occupy a notional position in the derived clause, and those that do not occupy such a position. The non-positional subordinators are referred to as pure conjunctions. Here belong such words as since, before, until, if, in case, because, so that, in order that, though, however, than, as if, etc. The positional subordinators are in fact conjunctive substitutes. The main positional subordinators are the pronominal words who, what, whose, which, that, where, when, why, as. Some of these words are double-functional (bifunctional), entering also the first set of subordinators; such are the words where, when, that, as, used both as conjunctive substitutes and conjunctions. Together with these the zero subordinator should be named, whose polyfunctional status is similar to the status of the subordinator that. The substitute status of positional subordinators is disclosed in their function as 'relative' pronominals, i. e. pronominals referring to syntagmatic antecedents. Cf.:

That was the day when she was wearing her pink dress. Sally put on her pink dress when she decided to join the party downstairs.

The relative pronominal 'when' in the first of the cited sentences syntagmatically replaces the antecedent 'the day',


while the conjunction 'when' in the second sentence has no relative pronominal status. From the point of view of paradigmatics, though, even the second 'when' cannot be understood as wholly devoid of substitute force, since it remains associated systemically with the adverb 'then', another abstract indicator of time. So, on the whole the non-substitute use of the double-functional subordinators should be described not as utterly 'non-positional', but rather as 'semi-positional'.

On the other hand, there is another aspect of categorial difference between the subordinators, and this directly corresponds to the nature of clauses they introduce. Namely, nominal clauses, being clauses of fact, are introduced by subordinators of fact (conjunctions and conjunctive subordinators), while adverbial clauses, being clauses of adverbial relations, are introduced by subordinators of relational semantic characteristics (conjunctions). This difference holds true both for monofunctional subordinators and bifunctional subordinators. Indeed, the subordinate clauses expressing time and place and, correspondingly, introduced by the subordinators when and where may be used both as nominal nominators and adverbial nominators. The said difference is quite essential, though outwardly it remains but slightly featured. Cf.:

I can't find the record where you put it yesterday. I forget where I put the record yesterday.

It is easy to see that the first place-clause indicates the place of action, giving it a situational periphrastic definition, while the second place-clause expresses the object of a mental effort. Accordingly, the subordinator 'where' in the first sentence introduces a place description as a background of an action, while the subordinator 'where' in the second sentence introduces a place description as a fact to be considered. The first 'where' and the second 'where' differ by the force of accent (the first is unstressed, the second is stressed), but the main marking difference between them lies in the difference between the patterns of their use, which difference is noted by the chosen terms 'nominal' and 'adverbial'. This can easily be illustrated by a question-replacement test: Where can't I find the record? What do I forget?

Likewise, the corresponding subdivision of the nominal


subordinators and the clauses they introduce can be checked and proved on the same lines. Cf.:

The day when we met is unforgettable. Which day is unforgettable? When we met is of no consequence now. → What is of no consequence now?

The first when-раttеrn is clearly disclosed by the test as a qualification-nominal, while the second, as a substantive-nominal.

Thus, the categorial classification of clauses is sustained by the semantic division of the subordinators which are distinguished as substantive-nominal clausalisers, qualification-nominal clausalisers and adverbial clausalisers. Since, on the other hand, substantive nomination is primary in categorial rank, while qualification nomination is secondary, in terms of syntactic positions all the subordinate clauses are to be divided into three groups: first, clauses of primary nominal positions to which belong subject, predicative and object clauses; second, clauses of secondary nominal positions to which belong attributive clauses; third, clauses of adverbial positions.

§ 6. Clauses of primary nominal positions — subject, predicative, object — are interchangeable with one another in easy reshufflings of sentence constituents. Cf.:

What you saw at the exhibition is just what I want to know. What I want to know is just what you saw at the exhibition. I just want to know what you saw at the exhibition.

However, the specific semantic functions of the three respective clausal positions are strictly preserved with all such interchanges, so that there is no ground to interpret positional rearrangements like the ones shown above as equivalent.

The subject clause, in accord with its functional position, regularly expresses the theme on the upper level of the actual division of the complex sentence. The thematic property of the clause is well exposed' in its characteristic uses with passive constructions, as well as constructions in which the voice opposition is neutralised. E.g.:

Why he rejected the offer has never been accounted for. • What small reputation the town does possess derives from two things.


It should be noted that in modern colloquial English the formal position of the subject clause in a complex sentence is open to specific contaminations (syntactic confusions on the clausal level). Here is one of the typical examples: Just because you say I wouldn't have (seen a white elephant— M. B.) doesn't prove anything (E.Hemingway).

The contamination here consists in pressing into one construction the clausal expression of cause and the expression of the genuine theme-subject to which the predicate of the sentence refers. The logical implication of the statement is, that the event in question cannot be taken as impossible by the mere reason of the interlocutor's considering it as such. Thus, what can be exposed of the speaker's idea by way of 'de-contaminating' the utterance is approximately like this: Your saying that I wouldn't have doesn't prove anything.

Another characteristic type of syntactic contamination of the subject-clause pattern is its use as a frame for an independent sentence. E. g.: You just get yourselves into trouble is what happens (M. Bradbury).

The cited contamination presents a feature of highly emotional speech. The utterance, as it were, proves to be a living illustration of the fact that where strong feelings are concerned the logic of lingual construction is liable to be trespassed upon. The logic in question can be rehabilitated by a substitution pattern: You just get yourselves into trouble, this is what happens.

As is known, the equivalent subject-clausal function can be expressed by the construction with an anticipatory pronoun (mostly the anticipatory it). This form of expression, emphasising the rheme-clause of the sentence, at the same time presents the information of the subject clause in a semantically stronger position than the one before the verb. Therefore the anticipatory construction is preferred in cases when the content of the subject clause is not to be wholly overbalanced or suppressed by the predicate of the sentence. E. g.: How he managed to pull through is a miracle. —» It is a miracle how he managed to pull through.

Some scholars analyse the clause introduced by the anticipatory construction as presenting two possibilities of interpretation which stand in opposition to each other. Accord-ing to the first and more traditional view, this is just a subject clause introduced by the anticipatory it, while in the light of the second, the clause introduced by it is appositive,


In our opinion, the latter explanation is quite rational; however, it cannot be understood as contrary to the 'anticipatory' theory. Indeed, the appositive type of connection between the introducer it and the introduced clause is proved by the very equivalent transformation of the non-anticipatory construction into the anticipatory one; but the exposition of the appositive character of the clause does not make the antecedent it into something different from an introductory pronominal element. Thus, the interpretation of the subject clause referring to the introducer it as appositive, in fact, simply explains the type of syntactic connection underlying the anticipatory formula.

The predicative clause, in conformity with the predicative position as such, performs the function of the nominal part of the predicate, i. e. the part adjoining the link-verb. The link-verb is mostly expressed by the pure link be, not infrequently we find here also the specifying links seem and look; the use of other specifying links is occasional. E. g.:

The trouble is that I don't know Fanny personally. The question is why the decision on the suggested innovation is still delayed. The difficulty seems how we shall get in touch with the chief before the conference. After all those years of travelling abroad, John has become what you would call a man of will and experience.

Besides the conjunctive substitutes, the predicative clause, the same as other nominal clauses, can be introduced by some conjunctions (that, whether, as if, as though). The predicative clause introduced by the conjunctions as if, as though has an adverbial force, which is easily shown by contrast: She looks as though she has never met him. She behaves as though she has never met him.

While considering subordinate clauses relating to the finite be in the principal clause, care should be taken to strictly discriminate between the linking and non-linking (notional) representations of the verb. Indeed, the linking be is naturally followed by a predicative clause, while the notional be, featuring verbal semantics of existence, cannot join a predicative. Cf.:

It's because he's weak that he needs me. This was because, he had just arrived.

The cited sentences have been shown by B. A. Ilyish as examples of predicative clauses having a non-conventional


nominal-clause conjunction (Ilyish, 276-2771. However, the analysis suggested by the scholar is hardly acceptable, since the introducing be in both examples does not belong to the class of links.

The predicative clause in a minimal complex sentence regularly expresses its rheme. Therefore there is an essential informative difference between the two functional uses of a categorially similar nominal clause: that of the predicative and that of the subject. Cf.:

The impression is that he is quite competent. That he is quite competent is the impression.

The second sentence (of an occasional status, with a sentence-stress on the link-verb), as different from the first, suggests an implication of a situational antithesis: the impression may be called in question, or it may be contrasted against another trait of the person not so agreeable as the one mentioned, etc.

The same holds true of complex sentences featuring subordinate clauses in both subject and predicative positions. Cf.:

How she gets there is what's troubling me (→ I am troubled). What's troubling me is how she gets there (→ How is she to get there?).

The peculiar structure of this type of sentence, where two nominal clauses are connected by a short link making up all the outer composition of the principal clause, suggests the scheme of a balance. For the sake of convenient terminological discrimination, the sentence may be so called — a 'complex balance'.

The third type of clauses considered under the heading of clauses of primary nominal positions are object clauses.

The object clause denotes an object-situation of the process expressed by the verbal constituent of the principal clause.

The object position is a strong substantive position in the sentence. In terms of clausal relations it means that the substantivising force of the genuine object-clause derivation is a strongly pronounced nominal clause-type derivation. This is revealed, in particular, by the fact that object clauses can be introduced not only non-prepositionally, but also, if not so freely, prepositionally. Cf.;


They will accept with grace whatever he may offer. She stared at what seemed a faded photo of Uncle Jo taken half a century before. I am simply puzzled by what you are telling me about the Car fairs.

On the other hand, the semantic content of the object clause discriminates three types of backgrounds: first, an immediately substantive background; second, an adverbial background; third, an uncharacterised background of general event. This differentiation depends on the functional status of the clause-connector, that is on the sentence-part role it performs in the clause. Cf.:

We couldn't decide whom we should address. The friends couldn't decide where they should spend their vacation.

The object clause in the first of the cited sentences is of a substantive background (We should address — whom), whereas the object clause in the second sentence is of adverbial-local background (They should spend their vacation — where).

The plot of the novel centred on what might be called a far-fetched, artificial situation. The conversation centred on why that clearly formulated provision of international law had been violated.

The first object clause in the above two sentences is of substantive background, while the second one is of an adverbial-causal background.

Object clauses of general event background are introduced by conjunctions: Now he could prove that the many years he had spent away from home had not been in vain.

The considered background features of subordinate clauses, certainly, refer to their inner status and therefore concern all the nominal clauses, not only object ones. But with object clauses they are of especial contrastive prominence, which is due to immediate dependence of the object clause on the valency of the introducing (subordinating) verb.

An extremely important set of clause-types usually included into the vast system of object clauses is formed by clauses presenting chunks of speech and mental-activity processes. These clauses are introduced by the verbs of speech and mental activity (Lat. 'verba sentiendi et declarandi'), whose contextual content they actually expose. Cf.:


Who says the yacht hasn't been properly prepared for the voyage? She wondered why on earth she was worrying so much, when obviously the time had come to end the incident and put it out of mind.

The two sentences render by their subordinate clauses speech of the non-author (non-agent) plane: in the first one actual words of some third person are cited, in the second one a stream of thought is presented which is another form of the existence of speech (i. e. inner speech). The chunk of talk rendered by this kind of presentation may not necessarily be actually pronounced or mentally produced by a denoted person; it may only be suggested or imagined by the speaker; still, even in the latter case we are faced by lingually (grammatically) the same kind of non-author speech-featuring complex construction. Cf.: Do you mean to say that the story has a moral?

Not all the clauses introduced by the verbs in question belong to this type. In principle, these clauses are divided into the ones exposing the content of a mental action (as shown above) and the ones describing the content of a mental action, such as the following: You may tell me whatever you like. Will you tell me what the matter is?

The object clauses in the cited sentences, as different from the foregoing examples, describe the information allowed by the speaker-author (the first sentence) or wanted by the speaker-author (the second sentence), thereby not differing much from non-speech-rendering clauses. As for the speech-rendering object clauses, they are quite special, and it is by right that, as a rule, they are treated in grammar books under the separate heading of 'rules of reported speech'. Due to their semantic nature, they may be referred to as 'reportive' clauses, and the same term will helpfully apply to the corresponding sentences as wholes. Indeed, it is in reportive sentences that the principal clause is more often than not reduced to an introductory phrase akin to a parenthesis of additionally specifying semantics, so that the formally subordinate clause practically absorbs all the essential information rendered by the sentence. Cf.:

Wainright said that Eastin would periodically report to him. → Periodically, Wainright said, Eastin would report to him (A. Hailey),


§ 1. Subordinate clauses of secondary nominal positions include attributive clauses of various syntactic functions. They fall into two major classes: 'descriptive' attributive clauses and 'restrictive' ('limiting') attributive clauses.

The descriptive attributive clause exposes some characteristic of the antecedent (i. e., its substantive referent) as such, while the restrictive attributive clause performs a purely identifying role, singling out the referent of the antecedent in the given situation. The basis of this classification, naturally, has nothing to do with the artistic properties of the classified units: a descriptive clause may or may not possess a special expressive force depending on the purpose and mastery of the respective text production. Moreover, of the two attributive clause classes contrasted, the restrictive class is distinguished as the more concretely definable one, admitting of the oppositional interpretation as the 'marked element': the descriptive class then will be oppositionally interpreted as the 'non-restrictive' one, which precisely explains the correlative status of the two types of subordinate clauses.

It should be noted that, since the difference between descriptive and restrictive clauses lies in their functions, there is a possibility of one and the same clausal unit being used in both capacities, depending on the differences of the contexts. Cf.:

At last we found a place where we could make a fire. The place where we could make a fire was not a lucky one.

The subordinate clause in the first of the cited examples informs the listener of the quality of the place (→ We found such a place) thereby being descriptive, while the same clause in the second example refers to the quality in question as a mere mark of identification (→ The place was not a lucky one) and so is restrictive.

Descriptive clauses, in their turn, distinguish two major subtypes: first, 'ordinary' descriptive clauses; second, 'continuative' descriptive clauses.

The ordinary descriptive attributive clause expresses various situational qualifications of nounal antecedents. The qualifications may present a constant situational feature or a temporary situational feature of different contextual relations and implications. Cf.:

It gave me a strange sensation to see a lit up window in a big house that was not lived in. He wore a blue shirt the


collar of which was open at the throat. They were playing such a game as could only puzzle us.

The continuative attributive clause presents a situation on an equal domination basis with its principal clause, and so is attributive only in form, but not in meaning. It expresses a new predicative event (connected with the antecedent) which somehow continues the chain of situations reflected by the sentence as a whole. Cf.:

In turn, the girls came singly before Brett, who frowned, blinked, bit his pencil, and scratched his head with it, getting no help from the audience, who applauded each girl impartially and hooted at every swim suit, as if they could not see hundreds any day round the swimming pool (M. Dickens).

It has been noted in linguistic literature that such clauses are essentially not subordinate, but coordinate, and hence they make up with their principal clause not a complex, but a compound sentence. As a matter of fact, for the most part such clauses are equal to coordinate clauses of the copulative type, and their effective test is the replacement of the relative subordinator by the combination and + substitute. Cf.:

I phoned to Mr. Smith, who recognised me at once and invited me to his office. I phoned to Mr. Smith, and he recognised me at once

Still, the form of the subordinate clause is preserved by the continuative clause, the contrast between a dependent form and an independent content constituting the distinguishing feature of this syntactic unit as such. Thus, what we do see in continuative clauses is a case of syntactic transposition, i. e. the transference of a subordinate clause into the functional sphere of a coordinate clause, with the aim of achieving an expressive effect. This transpositional property is especially prominent in the which-continuative clause that refers not to a single nounal antecedent, but to the whole principal clause. E. g.:

The tower clock struck the hour, which changed the train of his thoughts. His pictures were an immediate success on the varnishing day, which was nothing to wonder.

The construction is conveniently used in descriptions and reasonings.

To attributive clauses belongs also a vast set of appositive


clauses which perform an important role in the formation of complex sentences. The appositive clause, in keeping with the general nature of apposition, does not simply give some sort of qualification to its antecedent, but defines or elucidates its very meaning in the context. Due to this specialisation, appositive clauses refer to substantive antecedents of abstract semantics. Since the role of appositive clauses consists in bringing about contextual limitations of the meaning of the antecedent, the status of appositive clauses in the general system of attributive clauses is intermediary between restrictive and descriptive.

In accord with the type of the governing antecedent, all the appositive clauses fall into three groups: first, appositive clauses of nounal relation; second, appositive clauses of pronominal relation; third, appositive clauses of anticipatory relation.

Appositive clauses of nounal relation are functionally nearer to restrictive attributive clauses than the rest. They can introduce information of a widely variable categorial nature, both nominal and adverbial. The categorial features of the rendered information are defined by the type of the antecedent.

The characteristic antecedents of nominal apposition are abstract nouns like fact, idea, question, plan, suggestion, news, information, etc. Cf.:

The news that Dr. Blare had refused to join the Antarctic expedition was sensational. We are not prepared to discuss the question who will chair the next session of the Surgical Society.

The nominal appositive clauses can be tested by transforming them into the corresponding clauses of primary nominal positions through the omission of the noun-antecedent or translating it into a predicative complement. Cf.:

That Dr. Blare had refused to join the Antarctic expedition was sensational. —» That Dr. Blare had refused to join the Antarctic expedition was sensational news.

The characteristic antecedents of adverbial apposition are abstract names of adverbial relations, such as time, moment, place, condition, purpose, etc. Cf.:

We saw him at the moment he was opening the door of his Cadillac. They did it with the purpose that no one else might share the responsibility for the outcome of the venture.


As is seen from the examples, these appositive clauses serve a mixed or double function, i. e. a function constituting a mixture of nominal and adverbial properties. They may be tested by transforming them into the corresponding adverbial clauses through the omission of the noun-antecedent and, if necessary, the introduction of conjunctive adverbialisers. Cf.:

We saw him as he was opening the door of his Cadillac. They did it so that no one else might share the responsibility for the outcome of the venture.

Appositive clauses of pronominal relation refer to an antecedent expressed by an indefinite or demonstrative pronoun. The constructions serve as informatively limiting and attention-focusing means in contrast to the parallel non-appositive constructions. Cf.:

I couldn't agree with all that she was saying in her irritation. I couldn't agree with what she was saying in her irritation. (Limitation is expressed.) That which did strike us was the inspector's utter ignorance of the details of the case. What did strike us was the inspector's utter ignorance of the details of the case. (The utterances are practically equivalent, the one with a clausal apposition being somewhat more intense in its delimitation of the desired focus of attention.)

Appositive clauses of anticipatory relation are used in constructions with the anticipatory pronoun (namely, the anticipatory it, occasionally the demonstratives this, that). There are two varieties of these constructions — subjective and objective. The subjective clausal apposition is by far the basic one, both in terms of occurrence (it affects all the notional verbs of the vocabulary, not only transitive) and functional range (it possesses a universal sentence-transforming force). Thus, the objective anticipatory apposition is always interchangeable with the subjective anticipatory apposition, but not vice versa. Cf.:

I would consider it (this) a personal offence if they didn't accept the forwarded invitation. It would be a personal offence (to me) if they didn't accept the forwarded invitation. You may depend on it that the letters won't be left unanswered. It may be depended on that the letters won't be left unanswered.


The anticipatory appositive constructions, as is widely known, constitute one of the most peculiar typological features of English syntax. Viewed as part of the general appositive clausal system here presented, it is quite clear that the exposure of their appositive nature does not at all contradict their anticipatory interpretation, nor does it mar or diminish their 'idiomatically English' property so emphatically pointed out in grammar books.

The unique role of the subjective anticipatory appositive construction, as has been stated elsewhere, consists in the fact that it is used as a universal means of rheme identification in the actual division of the sentence.

§ 8. Clauses of adverbial positions constitute a vast domain of syntax which falls into many subdivisions each distinguishing its own field of specifications, complications, and difficulties of analysis. The structural peculiarities and idiosyncrasies characterising the numerous particular clause models making up the domain are treated at length in grammatical manuals of various practical purposes; here our concern will be to discuss some principal issues of their functional semantics and classification.

Speaking of the semantics of these clauses, it should be stressed that as far as the level of generalised clausal meanings is concerned, semantics in question is of absolute syntactic relevance; accordingly, the traditional identification of major adverbial clause models based on 'semantic considerations' is linguistically rational, practically helpful, and the many attempts to refute it in the light of the 'newly advanced, objective, consistently scientific' criteria have not resulted in creating a comprehensive system capable of competing with the traditional one in its application to textual materials.

On the other hand, it would be a mistake to call in question the usefulness of the data obtained by the latest investigations. Indeed, if their original negative purpose has failed, the very positive contribution of the said research efforts to theoretical linguistics is not to be overlooked: it consists in having studied the actual properties of the complicated clausal system of the sentence, above all the many-sided correlation between structural forms and functional meanings in the making of the systemic status of each clausal entity that admits of a description as a separate unit subtype.


Proceeding from the said insights, the whole system of adverbial clauses is to be divided into four groups.

The first group includes clauses of time and clauses of place. Their common semantic basis is to be defined as 'localisation' — respectively, temporal and spatial. Both types of clauses are subject to two major subdivisions, one concerning the local identification, the other concerning the range of functions.

Local identification is essentially determined by subordinators. According to the choice of connector, clauses of time and place are divided into general and particularising. The general local identification is expressed by the non-marking conjunctions when and where. Taken by themselves, they do not introduce any further specifications in the time or place correlations between the two local clausal events (i.e. principal and subordinate). As for the particularising local identification, it specifies the time and place correlations of the two events localising the subordinate one before the principal, parallel with the principal, after the principal, and possibly expressing further subgradations of these correspondences.

With subordinate clauses of time the particularising localisation is expressed by such conjunctions as while, as, since, before, after, until, as soon as, now that, no sooner than, etc. E.g.:

We lived here in London when the war ended. While the war was going on we lived in London. We had lived in London all through the war until it ended. After the war ended our family moved to Glasgow. Etc.

With clauses of place proper the particularising localisation is expressed but occasionally, mostly by the prepositional conjunctive combinations from where (bookish equivalent — whence) and to where. E.g.:

The swimmers gathered where the beach formed a small promontory. The swimmers kept abreast of one another from where they started.

For the most part, however, spatial specifications in the complex sentence are rendered not by place-clauses proper, but by adverbial-appositive clauses. Cf.: We decided not to go back to the place from where we started on our journey.

From the functional point of view, clauses of localisation


should be divided into 'direct' (all the above ones) and 'transferred', the latter mostly touching on matters of reasoning. E.g.:

When you speak of the plain facts there can't be any question of argument. But I can't agree with you where the principles of logic are concerned.

A special variety of complex sentence with a time clause is presented by a construction in which the main predicative information is expressed in the subordinate clause, the actual meaning of temporal localisation being rendered by the principal clause of the sentence. E.g.:

Alice was resting in bed when Humphrey returned. He brought his small charge into the room and presented her to her 'aunt' (D. E. Stevenson).

The context clearly shows that the genuine semantic accents in the first sentence of the cited passage is to be exposed by the reverse arrangement of subordination: it is Humphrey's actions that are relevant to the developing situation, not Alice's resting in bed: Humphrey returned when Alice was resting in bed

This type of complex sentence is known in linguistics as 'inversive'; what is meant by the term, is semantics taken against the syntactic structure. The construction is a helpful stylistic means of literary narration employed to mark a transition from one chain of related events to another one.

The second group of adverbial clauses includes clauses of manner and comparison. The common semantic basis of their functions can be defined as 'qualification', since they give a qualification to the action or event rendered by the principal clause. The identification of these clauses can be achieved by applying the traditional question-transformation test of the how-type, with the corresponding variations of specifying character (for different kinds of qualification clauses). Cf.:

He spent the Saturday night as was his wont. How did he spend the Saturday night? You talk to people as if they were a group. How do you talk to people? I planned to give my mother a length of silk for a dress, as thick and heavy as it was possible to buy. How thick and heavy the length of silk was intended to be?


All the adverbial qualification clauses are to be divided into 'factual' and 'speculative', depending on the real or unreal propositional event described by them.

The discrimination between manner and comparison clauses is based on the actual comparison which may or may not be expressed by the considered clausal construction of adverbial qualification. The semantics of comparison is inherent in the subordinators as if, as though, than, which are specific introducers of comparison clauses. On the other hand, the subordinator as, both single and in the combinations as as, not so as, is unspecific in this sense, and so invites for a discrimination test to be applied in dubious cases. It should be noted that more often than not a clausally expressed manner in a complex sentence is rendered by an appositive construction introduced by phrases with the broad-meaning words way and manner. E.g.: Mr. Smith looked at me in a way that put me on the alert.

Herein lies one of the needed procedures of discrimination, which is to be formulated as the transformation of the tested clause into an appositive that- or which-clause: the possibility of the transformation marks the clause of manner, while the impossibility of the transformation (i.e. the preservation of the original as-clause) marks the clause of comparison. Cf.:

Mary received the guests as nicely as Aunt Emma had taught her in a (very) nice way that Aunt Emma had taught her. (The test marks the clause as that of manner.) Mary received the guests as nicely as Aunt Emma would have done. in as nice a way as Aunt Emma would have done. (The test marks the clause as comparative.)

Clauses of comparison are subdivided into those of equality (subordinators as, as as, as if, as though) and those of inequality (subordinators not so as, than). The discontinuous introducers mark, respectively, a more intense rendering of the comparison in question. Cf.:

That summer he took a longer holiday than he had done for many years. For many years he hadn't taken so long a holiday as he was offered that summer.

With clauses of comparison it is very important to distinguish the contracted expression of predication, i.e. predicative zeroing, especially for cases where a clause of comparison as such is combined with a clause of time. Here 324

predicative zeroing may lead to the rise of peculiarly fused constructions which may be wrongly understood. By way of example, let us take the sentence cited in B. Ilyish's book: Do you find Bath as agreeable as when I had the honour of making the enquiry before? (J. Austen)

B. Ilyish analyses the construction as follows: 'The when-clause as such is a temporal clause: it indicates the time when an action ('his earlier enquiry') took place. However, being introduced by the conjunction as, which has its correlative, another as, in the main clause, it is at the same time a clause of comparison' [Ilyish, 299].

But time and comparison are absolutely different characteristics, so that neither of them can by definition be functionally used for the other. They may go together only in cases when time itself forms the basis of comparison (I came later than Mr. Jerome did). As far as the analysed example is concerned, its clause of time renders no other clausal meaning than temporal; the clausal comparison proper is expressed reductionally, its sole explicit representative being the discontinuous introducer as as. Thus, the true semantics of the cited comparison is to be exposed by paradigmatic de-zeroing: Do you find Bath as agreeable as it was when I had the honour of making the enquiry before?

The applied principle of analysis of contamination time-comparison clauses for its part supports the zero-conception of other outwardly non-predicative comparative constructions, in particular those introduced by than. Cf.: Nobody could find the answer quicker than John. Nobody could find the answer quicker than John did (could do).

The third and most numerous group of adverbial clauses includes 'classical' clauses of different circumstantial semantics, i.e. semantics connected with the meaning of the principal clause by various circumstantial associations; here belong clauses of attendant event, condition, cause, reason, result (consequence), concession, purpose. Thus, the common semantic basis of all these clauses can be defined as 'circumstance'. The whole group should be divided into two subgroups, the first being composed by clauses of 'attendant circumstance'; the second, by clauses of 'immediate circumstance'.

Clauses of attendant circumstance are not much varied in structure or semantics and come near to clauses of time. The difference lies in the fact that, unlike clauses of time, the event described by a clause of attendant circumstance


is presented as some sort of background in relation to the event described by the principal clause. Clauses of attendant circumstance are introduced by the conjunctions while and as. E.g.: As (while) the reception was going on, Mr. Smiles was engaged in a lively conversation with the pretty niece of the hostess.

The construction of attendant circumstance may be taken to render contrast; so all the clauses of attendant circumstance can be classed into 'contrastive' (clauses of contrast) and 'non-contrastive'. The non-contrastive clause of circumstance has been exemplified above. Here is an example of contrastive attendant circumstance expressed clausally:

Indeed, there is but this difference between us — that he wears fine clothes while I go in rags, and that while I am weak from hunger he suffers not a little from overfeeding (O. Wilde).

As is clear from the example, a complex sentence with a contrastive clause of attendant circumstance is semantically close to a compound sentence, i.e. a composite sentence based on coordination.

Clauses of immediate circumstance present a vast and complicated system of constructions expressing different explanations of events, reasonings and speculations in connection with them. The system should relevantly be divided into 'factual' clauses of circumstance and 'speculative' clauses of circumstance depending on the real or unreal predicative denotations expressed. This division is of especial significance for complex sentences with conditional clauses (real condition, problematic condition, unreal condition). Other types of circumstantial clauses express opposition between factual and speculative semantics with a potential relation to some kind of condition inherent in the deep associations of the syntactic constructions. E.g.:

Though she disapproved of their endless discussions, she had to put up with them. (Real concession) Though she may disapprove of their discussions, she will have to put up with them. (Speculative concession) —» If she disapproved (had disapproved) of their discussions, why would she put up (have put up) with them? (Speculative condition)

The argument was so unexpected that for a moment Jack lost his ability to speak. (Real consequence) The argument was so unexpected that it would have frustrated Jack's


ability to speak if he had understood the deep meaning of it. (Speculative consequence, based on the speculative condition)

Each type of clauses of circumstance presents its own problems of analysis. On the other hand, it must be pointed out that all the types of these clauses are inter-related both semantically and paradigmatically, which may easily be shown by the corresponding transformations and correlations. Some of such correlations have been shown on the examples above. Compare also:

He opened the window wide that he might hear the conversation below. (Purpose) → Unless he wanted to hear the conversation below he wouldn't open the window. (Condition) As he wanted to hear the conversation below, he opened the window wide and listened. (Cause) Though he couldn't hear properly the conversation below, he opened the window and listened. (Concession) The voices were so low that he couldn't hear the conversation through the open window. (Consequence) If he hadn't opened the window wide he couldn't have heard the conversation. (Condition)

Certain clausal types of circumstance are closely related to non-circumstantial clausal types. In particular, this kind of connection is observed between conditional clauses and time clauses and finds its specifically English expression in the rise of the contaminated if- and when-clauses: If and when the discussion of the issue is renewed, both parties will greatly benefit by it.

Another important variety of clauses of mixed syntactic semantics is formed by concessive clauses introduced by the connectors ending in -ever. E.g.:

Whoever calls, I'm not at home. However tempting the offer might be, Jim is not in a position to accept it.

Clauses of mixed adverbial semantics present an interesting field of paradigmatic study.

The fourth group of adverbial clauses is formed by parenthetical or insertive constructions. Parenthetical clauses, as has been stated elsewhere, are joined to the principal clause on a looser basis than the other adverbial clauses; still, they do form with the principal clause a syntactic sentential unity, which is easily proved by the procedure of diagnostic elimination. Cf.:


Jack has called here twice this morning, if I am not mistaken. → (*) Jack has called here twice this morning.

As is seen from the example, the elimination of the parenthesis changes the meaning of the whole sentence from problematic to assertive: the original sense of the utterance is lost, and this shows that the parenthesis, though inserted in the construction by a loose connection, still forms an integral part of it.

As to the subordinative quality of the connection, it is expressed by the type of the connector used. In other words, parenthetical predicative insertions can be either subordinative or coordinative, which is determined by the contextual content of the utterance and exposed by the connective introducer of the clause. Cf. a coordinate parenthetical clause: Jim said, and I quite agree with him, that it would be in vain to appeal to the common sense of the organisers.

Cf. the subordinate correlative of the cited clause: Jim said, though I don't quite agree with him, that it would be in vain to appeal to the common sense of the organisers.

Parenthetical clauses distinguish two semantic subtypes. Clauses of the first subtype, illustrated by the first example in this paragraph, are 'introductory', they express different modal meanings. Clauses of the second subtype, illustrated by the latter example, are 'deviational', they express commenting insertions of various semantic character. Deviational parenthesis marks the loosest possible syntactic connection of clauses combined into a composite sentence.

§ 9. Clauses in a complex sentence may be connected with one another more closely and less closely, similar to the parts of a simple sentence. The intensity of connection between the clauses directly reflects the degree of their proposemic self-dependence and is therefore an essential characteristic of the complex sentence as a whole. For instance, a predicative clause or a direct object clause are connected with the principal clause so closely that the latter cannot exist without them as a complete syntactic unit. Thus, this kind of clausal connection is obligatory. Cf.:

The matter is, we haven't received all the necessary instructions yet. → (*) The matter is — I don't know what Mike is going to do about his damaged bike. (*)I don't know —


As different from this, an ordinary adverbial clause is connected with the principal clause on a looser basis, it can be deleted without destroying the principal clause as an autonomous unit of information. This kind of clausal connection is optional. Cf.:

The girl gazed at him as though she was struck by something extraordinary in his appearance. The girl gazed at him.

The division of subordinative clausal connections into obligatory and optional was employed by the Russian linguist N. S. Pospelov (1950) for the introduction of a new classification of complex sentences. In accord with his views, all the complex sentences of minimal structure (i.e. consisting of one principal clause and one subordinate clause) should be classed as 'one-member' complex sentences and 'two-member' complex sentences. One-member complex sentences are distinguished by an obligatory subordinative connection, while two-member complex sentences are distinguished by an optional subordinative connection. The obligatory connection is determined both by the type of the subordinate clause (subject, predicative, object clauses) and the type of the introduction of the clause (demonstrative correlation). The optional connection characterises adverbial clauses of diverse functions and attributive clauses of descriptive type. Semantically, one-member complex sentences are understood as reflecting one complex logical proposition, and two-member complex sentences as reflecting two logical propositions connected with each other on the subordinative principle.

The rational character of the advanced conception is quite obvious. Its strong point is the fact that it consistently demonstrates the correlation between form and meaning in the complex sentence structure. Far from rejecting the traditional teaching of complex sentences, the 'member conception' is based on its categories and develops them further, disclosing such properties of subordinative connections which were not known to the linguistic science before.

Speaking not only of the complex sentence of minimal composition, but in terms of complex sentences in general, it would be appropriate to introduce the notions of 'monolythic' and 'segregative' sentence structures. Obligatory subordinative connections underlie monolythic complexes, while optional subordinative connections underlie segregative complexes.


Monolithic complex sentences fall into four basic types.

The first of them is formed by merger complex sentences, i.e. sentences with subject and predicative subordinate clauses. The subordinate clausal part of the merger monolythic complex, as has been shown above (see § 2), is fused with its principal clause. The corresponding construction of syntactic anticipation should also be considered under this heading. Cf.: It was at this point that Bill had come bustling into the room. → (*) It was at this point —

The second subtype of complex sentences in question is formed by constructions whose subordinate clauses are dependent on the obligatory right-hand valency of the verb in the principal clause. We can tentatively call these constructions 'valency' monolith complexes. Here belong complexes with object clauses and valency-determined adverbial clauses: from the point of view of subordinative cohesion they are alike. Cf.:

I don't know when I'm beaten. —» (*) I don't know — Put the book where you've taken it from. → (*) Put the book — Her first shock was when she came down. → (*) Her first shock was —

The third subtype of monolythic complex sentences is formed by constructions based on subordinative correlations — 'correlation' monolith complexes. E.g.:

His nose was as unkindly short as his upper lip was long. You will enjoy such a sight as you are not likely to see again. The more I think of it, the more I'm convinced of his innocence.

Restrictive attributive clauses should be included into this subtype of correlation monoliths irrespective of whether or not their correlation scheme is explicitly expressed. Cf.:

This is the same report as was submitted last week. This is the report that was submitted last week.

Finally, the fourth subtype of monolithic complex sentences is formed by constructions whose obligatory connection between the principal and subordinate clauses is determined only by the linear order of clausal positions. Cf.: If he comes, tell him to wait. (*) If he comes —

As is easily seen, such 'arrangement' monolith complexes are not 'organically' monolithic, as different from the first three monolith subtypes; positional re-arrangement deprives


them of this quality, changing the clausal connection from obligatory into optional: Tell him to wait if he comes. Tell him to wait.

The rest of the complex sentences are characterised by segregative structure, the maximum degree of syntactic option being characteristic of subordinative parenthetical connection.

§ 10. Complex sentences which have two or more subordinate clauses discriminate two basic types of subordination arrangement: parallel and consecutive.

Subordinate clauses immediately referring to one and the same principal clause are said to be subordinated 'in parallel' or 'co-subordinated'. Parallel subordination may be both homogeneous and heterogeneous. For instance, the two clauses of time in the following complex sentence, being embedded on the principle of parallel subordination, are homogeneous — they depend on the same element (the principal clause as a whole), are connected with each other coordinatively and perform the same function: When he agrees to hear me, and when we have spoken the matter over, I'll tell you the result.

Homogeneous arrangement is very typical of object clauses expressing reported speech. E.g.: Mrs. Lewin had warned her that Cadover was an extraordinary place, and that one must never be astonished by anything (A. Huxley).

By heterogeneous parallel subordination, co-subordinate clauses mostly refer to different elements in the principal clause. E.g.: The speakers who represented different nations and social strata were unanimous in their call for peace which is so ardently desired by the common people of the world.

As different from parallel subordination, consecutive subordination presents a hierarchy of clausal levels. In this hierarchy one subordinate clause is commonly subordinated to another, making up an uninterrupted gradation. This kind of clausal arrangement may be called 'direct' consecutive subordination. E.g.: I've no idea why she said she couldn't call on us at the time I had suggested.

Alongside of direct consecutive subordination there is another form of clausal hierarchy which is formed without an immediate domination of one subordinate clause over another. For instance, this is the case when the principal clause of a complex multi-level sentence is built up on a merger basis, i.e. includes a subject or predicative clause.


E.g.: What he saw made him wince as though he had been struck.

In the cited sentence the comparative subordinate clause is dominated by the whole of the principal clause which includes a subordinate propositional unit in its syntactic position of the subject. Thus, the subordinative structure of the sentence is in fact consecutive, though not directly consecutive. This type of hierarchical clausal arrangement may be called 'oblique' consecutive subordination; it is of minor importance for the system of subordination perspective as a whole.

The number of consecutive levels of subordination gives the evaluation of the 'depth' of subordination perspective — one of the essential syntactic characteristics of the complex sentence. In the first three examples cited in the current paragraph this depth is estimated as 1; in the fourth example (direct consecutive subordination) it equals 3; in the fifth example (oblique consecutive subordination) it equals 2. The subordination perspective of complex sentences used in ordinary colloquial speech seldom exceeds three consecutive clausal levels.


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