Types Of Clauses

# Clause = Subject + Predicate Phrase

• The subject is the NP being assigned a property
• The predicate phrase is the property that is being assigned to the subject

e.g. "Susan is a linguistics student"

"Susan" is the subject.
" is a linguistics student" is the predicate phrase.

# Main vs Embedded

The main/root clause is the highest clause, it contains all other clauses, and is the entire sentence/clause/phrase.

Embedded/subordinate clauses are inside other clauses.

E.g. =

## Tree Representation

We can represent these clauses as trees, and hence very easily see where embedded clauses fit in.

## Types of Embedded Clauses

### Specifier Clauses

When an embedded clause is in a specifier position (child of XP, sister to X') then we say it is a specifier clause.

• "People selling their stocks caused the crash of 29"

### Complement Clauses

When an embedded clause is in a complement position (child of X', sister to X) then we say it is a complement clause.

• "Heidi asked if they could get some jam"

### Adjunct Clauses

When an embedded clause is in an adjunct position (child of X', sister to X') then we say it is an adjunct clause.

• "[The man I saw get into the cab] robbed the bank"

# Finite vs Non-Finite

We know of TPs - now we bring in the TP head (T) to tell us if a clause is finite or not (i.e. tensed or untensed).

E.g.

• "I thought that John left" = finite
• "I want John to leave" = non-finite

## Distinguishing: Tense/Person Tests

It is not always quite so simple though. Finite clauses show verbal agreement and tense morphology - so to test this we can change the tense/person.

e.g.

• "I know you eat asparagus" = finite
• "I've never seen you eat asparagus" = non-finte
• "I know you ate asparagus" = finite
• *"I've never seen you ate asparagus" = invalid sentence

## Distinguishing: Cases

We can also test the difference using cases:

• Subjects of finite clauses use the nominative case, whereas subjects of non-finite (or small clauses) use the accusative case.

## Distinguishing: Types of T heads:

Finite:

• that
• which
• if
• Ø

e.g. "I think that he should go"

Non-Finite:

• for
• Ø

e.g. "I want for him to leave'

page revision: 6, last edited: 26 Apr 2012 02:22