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By Eldon G. Lytle

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Extra info for A Grammar of Subordinate Structures in English

Example text

Even this taxonomy reduces to the single relationship we have defined, however: Either a singular or plural value for r is all-inclusive if r' is empty. Thus one simple formula can be used for any relative: If r = U, r' is empty and the relative is nonrestrictive; if r ^ U, r' is not empty and the relative is restrictive. In any case, however, the union of r and r' must equal U: "Of the twelve apostles eleven were faithful, but the other one wasn't" ""'Eleven of the apostles were faithful, but the other apostles weren't" Violation of this principle leads to semantic anomaly, as in the second sentence above.

Viewing the matter from a slightly different angle, a relative clause may be restricted in the authenticity of its predication to a proper subset of U, there being elements in U for which the predication does not hold. From the speaker's point of view a particular referent is RESTRICTED or NONRESTRICTED with regard to the universe of a given word or phrase. This is simply reflected by the type of juncture selected for overt relative modifiers. From the hearer's point of view, juncture serves as a cue to how the intended referent is analysed by the speaker.

Generous wealthy men... is quite distinct from Generous and wealthy men.... , which involves conjoined rather than subjoined adjectives. The conjoined elements do not imply that either class of men is a subset of the other. This is not true of the relationships defined by the adjective sequence, however. Blue white shirts is semantically deviant; blue and white shirts is not. It is appropriate at this point to comment on the properties of nonrestrictive relative sequences, structures which, because of their referential status, do exhibit characteristics somewhat akin to conjoined sentences.

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