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In
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self and other, private and public, and ...

language
, a clause is a
constituent Constituent or constituency may refer to: In politics * Electoral district An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral ar ...
that links a semantic
predicand In semantics Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or lin ...
(expressed or not) and a semantic
predicate Predicate or predication may refer to: Computer science *Syntactic predicate (in parser technology) guidelines the parser process Linguistics *Predicate (grammar), a grammatical component of a sentence Philosophy and logic * Predication (philo ...
. A typical clause consists of a subject and a syntactic
predicate Predicate or predication may refer to: Computer science *Syntactic predicate (in parser technology) guidelines the parser process Linguistics *Predicate (grammar), a grammatical component of a sentence Philosophy and logic * Predication (philo ...
, the latter typically a
verb phrase In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ph ...
, a
verb A verb () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meaning. In many la ...
with any
object Object may refer to: General meanings * Object (philosophy), a thing, being, or concept ** Entity, something that is tangible and within the grasp of the senses ** Object (abstract), an object which does not exist at any particular time or pl ...
s and other modifiers. However, the subject is sometimes not said or explicit, often the case in
null-subject language In linguistic typology Linguistic typology (or language typology) is a field of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for ...
s if the subject is retrievable from context, but it sometimes also occurs in other languages such as
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
(as in
imperative Imperative may refer to: *Imperative mood, a grammatical mood (or mode) expressing commands, direct requests, and prohibitions *Imperative programming, a programming paradigm in computer science *Imperative logic *Imperative (film), ''Imperative'' ...
sentences and
non-finite clause In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most language ...
s). A simple
sentence Sentence(s) or The Sentence may refer to: Common uses * Sentence (law), the punishment a judge gives to a defendant found guilty of a crime * Sentence (linguistics), a grammatical unit of language * Sentence (mathematical logic), a formula not cont ...
usually consists of a single finite clause with a
finite verb Traditionally, a finite verb A verb () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (lin ...
that is independent. More complex sentences may contain multiple clauses. Main clauses (''matrix clauses'', ''
independent clause An independent clause (or main clause) is a clause In language, a clause is a part of the sentence that constitutes or comprises a predicate (grammar), predicate. A typical clause consists of a subject (grammar), subject and a predicate, the la ...
s'') are those that can stand alone as a sentence. Subordinate clauses (''embedded clauses'', ''
dependent clause A subordinate clause, dependent clause or embedded clause is a clause In language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. M ...
s'') are those that would be awkward or incomplete if they were alone.


Two major distinctions

A primary division for the discussion of clauses is the distinction between main clauses (e.g. ''matrix clauses'', ''independent clauses'') and subordinate clauses (e.g. ''embedded clauses'', ''dependent clauses''). A main clause can stand alone, i.e. it can constitute a complete sentence by itself. A subordinate clause (e.g. ''embedded clause''), in contrast, is reliant on the presence of a main clause; it depends on the main clause and is therefore a
dependent clause A subordinate clause, dependent clause or embedded clause is a clause In language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. M ...
, whereas the main clause is an
independent clause An independent clause (or main clause) is a clause In language, a clause is a part of the sentence that constitutes or comprises a predicate (grammar), predicate. A typical clause consists of a subject (grammar), subject and a predicate, the la ...
. A second major distinction concerns the difference between finite and non-finite clauses. A finite clause contains a structurally central
finite verb Traditionally, a finite verb A verb () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (lin ...
, whereas the structurally central word of a non-finite clause is often a
non-finite verb A nonfinite verb is a verb A verb, from the Latin ''wikt:verbum#Latin, verbum'' meaning ''word'', is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (''bring'', ''read'', ''walk'', ''run'', ''learn''), an occurrence (''happen'', ''becom ...
. Traditional grammar focuses on finite clauses, the awareness of non-finite clauses having arisen much later in connection with the modern study of syntax. The discussion here also focuses on finite clauses, although some aspects of non-finite clauses are considered further below. Clauses can be classified according to a distinctive trait that is a prominent characteristic of their syntactic form. The position of the finite verb is one major trait used for classification, and the appearance of a specific type of focusing word (e.g. ''wh''-word) is another. These two criteria overlap to an extent, which means that often no single aspect of syntactic form is always decisive in determining how the clause functions. There are, however, strong tendencies.


Standard SV-clauses

Standard SV-clauses (subject-verb) are the norm in English. They are usually declarative (as opposed to exclamative, imperative, or interrogative); they express information in a neutral manner, e.g. ::The pig has not yet been fed. Declarative clause, standard SV order ::I've been hungry for two hours. Declarative clause, standard SV order ::...that I've been hungry for two hours. Declarative clause, standard SV order, but functioning as a subordinate clause due to the appearance of the subordinator ''that'' Declarative clauses like these are by far the most frequently occurring type of clause in any language. They can be viewed as basic, other clause types being derived from them. Standard SV-clauses can also be interrogative or exclamative, however, given the appropriate intonation contour and/or the appearance of a question word, e.g. ::a. The pig has not yet been fed? Rising intonation on ''fed'' makes the clause a yes/no-question. ::b. The pig has not yet been fed! Spoken forcefully, this clause is exclamative. ::c. You've been hungry for how long? Appearance of interrogative word ''how'' and rising intonation make the clause a constituent question Examples like these demonstrate that how a clause functions cannot be known based entirely on a single distinctive syntactic criterion. SV-clauses are usually declarative, but intonation and/or the appearance of a question word can render them interrogative or exclamative.


Verb first clauses

Verb first clauses in English usually play one of three roles: 1. They express a yes/no-question via
subject–auxiliary inversion Subject–auxiliary inversion (SAI; also called subject–operator inversion) is a frequently occurring type of inversion Inversion or inversions may refer to: Arts * , a French gay magazine (1924/1925) * Inversion (artwork), ''Inversion'' (artwor ...
, 2. they express a condition as an embedded clause, or 3. they express a command via imperative mood, e.g. ::a. He must stop laughing. Standard declarative SV-clause (verb second order) ::b. Should he stop laughing? Yes/no-question expressed by verb first order ::c. Had he stopped laughing, ... Condition expressed by verb first order ::d. Stop laughing! Imperative formed with verb first order ::a. They have done the job. Standard declarative SV-clause (verb second order) ::b. Have they done the job? Yes/no-question expressed by verb first order ::c. Had they done the job, ... Condition expressed by verb first order ::d. Do the job! Imperative formed with verb first order Most verb first clauses are main clauses. Verb first conditional clauses, however, must be classified as embedded clauses because they cannot stand alone.


''Wh''-clauses

In
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
, ''Wh''-clauses contain a ''wh''-word. ''Wh''-words often serve to help express a constituent question. They are also prevalent, though, as relative pronouns, in which case they serve to introduce a relative clause and are not part of a question. The ''wh''-word focuses a particular constituent, and most of the time, it appears in clause-initial position. The following examples illustrate standard interrogative ''wh''-clauses. The b-sentences are direct questions (main clauses), and the c-sentences contain the corresponding indirect questions (embedded clauses): ::a. Sam likes the meat. Standard declarative SV-clause ::b. Who likes the meat? Matrix interrogative ''wh''-clause focusing on the subject ::c. They asked who likes the meat. Embedded interrogative ''wh''-clause focusing on the subject ::a. Larry sent Susan to the store. Standard declarative SV-clause ::b. Whom did Larry send to the store? Matrix interrogative ''wh''-clause focusing on the object, subject-auxiliary inversion present ::c. We know whom Larry sent to the store. Embedded ''wh''-clause focusing on the object, subject-auxiliary inversion absent ::a. Larry sent Susan to the store. Standard declarative SV-clause ::b. Where did Larry send Susan? Matrix interrogative ''wh''-clause focusing on the oblique object, subject-auxiliary inversion present ::c. Someone is wondering where Larry sent Susan. Embedded ''wh''-clause focusing on the oblique object, subject-auxiliary inversion absent One important aspect of matrix ''wh''-clauses is that subject-auxiliary inversion is obligatory when something other than the subject is focused. When it is the subject (or something embedded in the subject) that is focused, however, subject-auxiliary inversion does not occur. ::a. Who called you? Subject focused, no subject-auxiliary inversion ::b. Whom did you call? Object focused, subject-auxiliary inversion occurs Another important aspect of ''wh''-clauses concerns the absence of subject-auxiliary inversion in embedded clauses, as illustrated in the c-examples just produced. Subject-auxiliary inversion is obligatory in matrix clauses when something other than the subject is focused, but it never occurs in embedded clauses regardless of the constituent that is focused. A systematic distinction in word order emerges across matrix ''wh''-clauses, which can have VS order, and embedded ''wh''-clauses, which always maintain SV order, e.g. ::a. Why are they doing that? Subject-auxiliary inversion results in VS order in matrix ''wh''-clause. ::b. They told us why they are doing that. Subject-auxiliary inversion is absent in embedded ''wh''-clause. ::c. *They told us why are they doing that. Subject-auxiliary inversion is blocked in embedded ''wh''-clause. ::a. Whom is he trying to avoid? Subject-auxiliary inversion results in VS order in matrix ''wh''-clause. ::b. We know whom he is trying to avoid. Subject-auxiliary inversion is absent in embedded ''wh-''clause. ::c. *We know whom is he trying to avoid. Subject-auxiliary inversion is blocked in embedded ''wh''-clause.


Relative clauses

Relative clause A relative clause is typically a clause that modifies a noun A noun () is a word that functions as the name of a specific object or set of objects, such as living creatures, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas.Example nouns ...
s are a mixed group. In English they can be standard SV-clauses if they are introduced by ''that'' or lack a relative pronoun entirely, or they can be ''wh''-clauses if they are introduced by a ''wh''-word that serves as a
relative pronounA relative pronoun is a pronoun In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) is a word or a group of words that one may substitute for a noun or noun phrase. Pronouns have traditionally been regarded as one ...
.


Clauses according to semantic predicate-argument function

Embedded clauses can be categorized according to their syntactic function in terms of predicate-argument structures. They can function as
argument In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, lab ...
s, as adjuncts, or as
predicative expression A predicative expression (or just predicative) is part of a clause In language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Mos ...
s. That is, embedded clauses can be an argument of a predicate, an adjunct on a predicate, or (part of) the predicate itself. The predicate in question is usually the matrix predicate of a main clause, but embedding of predicates is also frequent.


Argument clauses

A clause that functions as the argument of a given predicate is known as an ''argument clause''. Argument clauses can appear as subjects, as objects, and as obliques. They can also modify a noun predicate, in which case they are known as ''
content clause In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as wel ...
s''. ::That they actually helped was really appreciated. SV-clause functioning as the subject argument ::They mentioned that they had actually helped. SV-clause functioning as the object argument ::What he said was ridiculous. ''Wh''-clause functioning as the subject argument ::We know what he said. ''Wh''-clause functioning as an object argument ::He talked about what he had said. ''Wh''-clause functioning as an oblique object argument The following examples illustrate argument clauses that provide the content of a noun. Such argument clauses are content clauses: ::a. the claim that he was going to change it Argument clause that provides the content of a noun (i.e. content clause) ::b. the claim that he expressed Adjunct clause (relative clause) that modifies a noun ::a. the idea that we should alter the law Argument clause that provides the content of a noun (i.e. content clause) ::b. the idea that came up Adjunct clause (relative clause) that modifies a noun The content clauses like these in the a-sentences are arguments. Relative clauses introduced by the relative pronoun ''that'' as in the b-clauses here have an outward appearance that is closely similar to that of content clauses. The relative clauses are adjuncts, however, not arguments.


Adjunct clauses

Adjunct clauses are embedded clauses that modify an entire predicate-argument structure. All clause types (SV-, verb first, ''wh-'') can function as adjuncts, although the stereotypical adjunct clause is SV and introduced by a subordinator (i.e.
subordinate conjunction In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as ...
, e.g. ''after'', ''because'', ''before'', ''now'', etc.), e.g. ::a. Fred arrived before you did. Adjunct clause modifying matrix clause ::b. After Fred arrived, the party started. Adjunct clause modifying matrix clause ::c. Susan skipped the meal because she is fasting. Adjunct clause modifying matrix clause These adjunct clauses modify the entire matrix clause. Thus ''before you did'' in the first example modifies the matrix clause ''Fred arrived''. Adjunct clauses can also modify a nominal predicate. The typical instance of this type of adjunct is a relative clause, e.g. ::a. We like the music that you brought. Relative clause functioning as an adjunct that modifies the noun ''music'' ::b. The people who brought music were singing loudly. Relative clause functioning as an adjunct that modifies the noun ''people'' ::c. They are waiting for some food that will not come. Relative clause functioning as an adjunct that modifies the noun ''food''


Predicative clauses

An embedded clause can also function as a
predicative expression A predicative expression (or just predicative) is part of a clause In language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Mos ...
. That is, it can form (part of) the predicate of a greater clause. ::a. That was when they laughed. Predicative SV-clause, i.e. a clause that functions as (part of) the main predicate ::b. He became what he always wanted to be. Predicative ''wh''-clause, i.e. ''wh''-clause that functions as (part of) the main predicate These predicative clauses are functioning just like other predicative expressions, e.g. predicative adjectives (''That was good'') and predicative nominals (''That was the truth''). They form the matrix predicate together with the copula.


Representing clauses

Some of the distinctions presented above are represented in syntax trees. These trees make the difference between main and subordinate clauses very clear, and they also illustrate well the difference between argument and adjunct clauses. The following
dependency grammar Dependency grammar (DG) is a class of modern grammatical In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling t ...
trees show that embedded clauses are dependent on an element in the main clause, often on a verb: :: The main clause encompasses the entire tree each time, whereas the embedded clause is contained within the main clause. These two embedded clauses are arguments. The embedded ''wh''-clause ''what we want'' is the object argument of the predicate ''know''. The embedded clause ''that he is gaining'' is the subject argument of the predicate ''is motivating''. Both of these argument clauses are directly dependent on the main verb of the matrix clause. The following trees identify adjunct clauses using an arrow dependency edge: :: These two embedded clauses are adjunct clauses because they provide circumstantial information that modifies a superordinate expression. The first is a dependent of the main verb of the matrix clause and the second is a dependent of the object noun. The arrow dependency edges identify them as adjuncts. The arrow points away from the adjunct towards it
governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, ''governor'' may be t ...
to indicate that semantic
selection Selection may refer to: In science: * Selection (biology) Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is ill ...
is running counter to the direction of the syntactic dependency; the adjunct is selecting its governor. The next four trees illustrate the distinction mentioned above between matrix ''wh''-clauses and embedded ''wh''-clauses :: The embedded ''wh''-clause is an object argument each time. The position of the ''wh''-word across the matrix clauses (a-trees) and the embedded clauses (b-trees) captures the difference in word order. Matrix ''wh''-clauses have
V2 word order In syntax In linguistics, syntax () is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of Sentence (linguistics), sentences (sentence structure) in a given Natural language, language, usually including word order. The t ...
, whereas embedded wh-clauses have (what amounts to) V3 word order. In the matrix clauses, the ''wh''-word is a dependent of the finite verb, whereas it is the head over the finite verb in the embedded ''wh''-clauses.


Clauses vs. phrases

There has been confusion about the distinction between clauses and phrases. This confusion is due in part to how these concepts are employed in the
phrase structure grammar The term phrase structure grammar was originally introduced by Noam Chomsky Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system ...
s of the Chomskyan tradition. In the 1970s, Chomskyan grammars began labeling many clauses as CPs (i.e. complementizer phrases) or as IPs (i.e. inflection phrases), and then later as TPs (i.e. tense phrases), etc. The choice of labels was influenced by the theory-internal desire to use the labels consistently. The
X-bar schema
X-bar schema
acknowledged at least three projection levels for every lexical head: a minimal projection (e.g. N, V, P, etc.), an intermediate projection (e.g. N', V', P', etc.), and a phrase level projection (e.g. NP, VP, PP, etc.). Extending this convention to the clausal categories occurred in the interest of the consistent use of labels. This use of labels should not, however, be confused with the actual status of the syntactic units to which the labels are attached. A more traditional understanding of clauses and phrases maintains that phrases are not clauses, and clauses are not phrases. There is a progression in the size and status of syntactic units: ''words < phrases < clauses''. The characteristic trait of clauses, i.e. the presence of a subject and a (finite) verb, is absent from phrases. Clauses can be, however, embedded inside phrases.


Non-finite clauses

The central word of a non-finite clause is usually a
non-finite verb A nonfinite verb is a verb A verb, from the Latin ''wikt:verbum#Latin, verbum'' meaning ''word'', is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (''bring'', ''read'', ''walk'', ''run'', ''learn''), an occurrence (''happen'', ''becom ...
(as opposed to a
finite verb Traditionally, a finite verb A verb () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (lin ...
). There are various types of non-finite clauses that can be acknowledged based in part on the type of non-finite verb at hand.
Gerund A gerund ( abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; for exam ...

Gerund
s are widely acknowledged to constitute non-finite clauses, and some modern grammars also judge many ''to''-infinitives to be the structural locus of non-finite clauses. Finally, some modern grammars also acknowledge so-called
small clauseIn linguistics, a small clause consists of a subject and its predicate, but lacks an overt expression of tense. Small clauses have the semantic subject-predicate characteristics of a clause In language, a clause is a part of the sentence that con ...
s, which often lack a verb altogether. It should be apparent that non-finite clauses are (by and large) embedded clauses.


Gerund clauses

The underlined words in the following examples are considered non-finite clauses, e.g. ::a. Bill stopping the project was a big disappointment. Non-finite gerund clause ::b. Bill's stopping the project was a big disappointment. Gerund with noun status ::a. We've heard about Susan attempting a solution. Non-finite gerund clause ::b. We've heard about Susan's attempting a solution. Gerund with noun status ::a. They mentioned him cheating on the test. Non-finite gerund clause ::b. They mentioned his cheating on the test. Gerund with noun status Each of the gerunds in the a-sentences (''stopping'', ''attempting'', and ''cheating'') constitutes a non-finite clause. The subject-predicate relationship that has long been taken as the defining trait of clauses is fully present in the a-sentences. The fact that the b-sentences are also acceptable illustrates the enigmatic behavior of gerunds. They seem to straddle two syntactic categories: they can function as non-finite verbs or as nouns. When they function as nouns as in the b-sentences, it is debatable whether they constitute clauses, since nouns are not generally taken to be constitutive of clauses.


''to''-infinitive clauses

Some modern theories of syntax take many ''to''-infinitives to be constitutive of non-finite clauses. This stance is supported by the clear predicate status of many ''to''-infinitives. It is challenged, however, by the fact that ''to''-infinitives do not take an overt subject, e.g. ::a. She refuses to consider the issue. ::a. He attempted to explain his concerns. The ''to''-infinitives ''to consider'' and ''to explain'' clearly qualify as predicates (because they can be negated). They do not, however, take overt subjects. The subjects ''she'' and ''he'' are dependents of the matrix verbs ''refuses'' and ''attempted'', respectively, not of the ''to''-infinitives. Data like these are often addressed in terms of control. The matrix predicates ''refuses'' and ''attempted'' are control verbs; they control the embedded predicates ''consider'' and ''explain'', which means they determine which of their arguments serves as the subject argument of the embedded predicate. Some theories of syntax posit the null subject PRO (i.e. pronoun) to help address the facts of control constructions, e.g. ::b. She refuses PRO to consider the issue. ::b. He attempted PRO to explain his concerns. With the presence of PRO as a null subject, ''to''-infinitives can be construed as complete clauses, since both subject and predicate are present. One must keep in mind, though, that PRO-theory is particular to one tradition in the study of syntax and grammar (
Government and Binding Theory Government and binding (GB, GBT) is a theory of and a in the tradition of developed principally by in the 1980s. This theory is a radical revision of his earlier theories and was later revised in ' (1995) and several subsequent papers, the late ...
,
Minimalist Program In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis includ ...
). Other theories of syntax and grammar (e.g.
Head-Driven Phrase Structure GrammarHead-driven phrase structure grammar (HPSG) is a highly lexicalized, constraint-based grammar developed by Carl Pollard and Ivan Sag. It is a type of phrase structure grammar The term phrase structure grammar was originally introduced by Noam Cho ...
,
Construction Grammar Construction grammar (often abbreviated CxG) is a family of theories within the field of cognitive linguistics which posit that constructions, or learned pairings of linguistic patterns with meanings, are the fundamental building blocks of human la ...
,
dependency grammar Dependency grammar (DG) is a class of modern grammatical In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling t ...
) reject the presence of null elements such as PRO, which means they are likely to reject the stance that ''to''-infinitives constitute clauses.


Small clauses

Another type of construction that some schools of syntax and grammar view as non-finite clauses is the so-called
small clauseIn linguistics, a small clause consists of a subject and its predicate, but lacks an overt expression of tense. Small clauses have the semantic subject-predicate characteristics of a clause In language, a clause is a part of the sentence that con ...
. A typical small clause consists of a noun phrase and a predicative expression,For the basic characteristics of small clauses, see Crystal (1997:62). e.g. ::We consider that a joke. Small clause with the predicative noun phrase ''a joke'' ::Something made him angry. Small clause with the predicative adjective ''angry'' ::She wants us to stay. Small clause with the predicative non-finite ''to''-infinitive ''to stay'' The subject-predicate relationship is clearly present in the underlined strings. The expression on the right is a predication over the noun phrase immediately to its left. While the subject-predicate relationship is indisputably present, the underlined strings do not behave as single
constituent Constituent or constituency may refer to: In politics * Electoral district An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral ar ...
s, a fact that undermines their status as clauses. Hence one can debate whether the underlined strings in these examples should qualify as clauses. The layered structures of the chomskyan tradition are again likely to view the underlined strings as clauses, whereas the schools of syntax that posit flatter structures are likely to reject clause status for them.


See also

*
Adverbial clauseAn adverbial clause is a dependent clause A subordinate clause, dependent clause or embedded clause is a clause In language, a clause is a part of the sentence that constitutes or comprises a predicate (grammar), predicate. A typical clause consis ...
*
Dependent clause A subordinate clause, dependent clause or embedded clause is a clause In language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. M ...
*
Relative clause A relative clause is typically a clause that modifies a noun A noun () is a word that functions as the name of a specific object or set of objects, such as living creatures, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas.Example nouns ...
*
Sentence (linguistics) In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...
*
T-unit In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages ...
* Thematic equative *
Balancing and derankingIn linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include pho ...


Notes


References

* * Kroeger, Paul R. (2005). ''Analysing Grammar: An Introduction''. Cambridge. UK: Cambridge University Press. * {{cite journal , author1=Timothy Osborne , author2=Thomas Gross , year=2012 , title=Constructions are catenae: Construction Grammar meets Dependency Grammar , journal=Cognitive Linguistics , volume=23 , number=1 , pages=163–214 , doi=10.1515/cog-2012-0006 * Radford, Andrew (2004). ''English syntax: An introduction''. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Syntactic entities