Is there really a syntactic category of subordination?
While different criteria are used in the literature in order to define subordinate clauses, these clauses are generally assumed to form a syntactic category, in the sense of a syntactically defined class that is relevant to speakers of individual languages. Many phenomena that are usually regarded as distinctive for subordination, however, do not actually provide evidence for such a category. This is illustrated in the paper with regard to syntactic embedding. Different criteria provide conflicting evidence as to the embedded vs. nonembedded status of particular clauses, the same criteria give different results for the same clause types in different contexts, and individual criteria do not always make it possible to identify distinct clause classes. This is because the various phenomena that are usually regarded as evidence for embedding are not actually motivated in terms of the same principles, nor are they syntactically motivated. Rather, these phenomena reflect a variety of semantic and pragmatic principles, and in some cases originate from diachronic processes independent of the syntactic status of the relevant clauses.
1986 “On the Nature of Grammatical Categories: a Diachronic Perspective.”
In Proceedings of the Second Eastern States Conference on Linguistics
, ed. by S. Choi
, D. Devitt
, W. Janis
, T. McCoy
, and Z.-S. Zhang
, 17–34. The Ohio State University.
1998 “Irrealis as a Grammatical Category.” Anthropological Linguistics
[Oxford Studies in Typology and Linguistic Theory
]. Oxford University Press.
2009 “Grammatical Categories and Relations: Universality vs. Language-specificity and Construction-specificity.” Language and Linguistics Compass
1998 “Linguistic Evidence and Mental Representations.” Cognitive Linguistics
2001 Radical Construction Grammar
. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Culicover, Peter W., and Ray Jackendoff
1997 “Semantic Subordination Despite Syntactic Coordination.” Linguistic Inquiry
1991 “Limits to Attention: A Cognitive Theory of Island Phenomena.” Cognitive Linguistics
Erteshik-Shir, Nomi, and Shalom Lappin
1979 “Dominance and the Functional Explanation of Island Phenomena.” Theoretical Linguistics
Haiman, John, and Sandra A. Thompson
‘Subordination’ in Universal Grammar
Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Meeting of Berkeley Linguistic Society
1995 “The Converb as a Cross-linguistically Valid Category.”
In Converbs in Cross-linguistic Perspective
, ed. by Martin Haspelmath
, and Ekkehard König
Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Heine, Bernd, and Tania Kuteva
2007 The Genesis of Grammar: A Reconstruction
. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Heine, Bernd, and Mechthild Reh
1984 Grammaticalization and Reanalysis in African Languages
. Hamburg: Helmut Buske.
Huddleston, Rodney D
1984 Introduction to the Grammar of English
. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kazenin, Konstantin, and Yakov G. Testelets
1976 “Subject, Theme, and the Speaker’s Empathy.”
In Subject and Topic
, ed. by C.N. Li
, 417–444. New York: Academic Press.
Langacker, Ronald W
1997 “Generics and Habituals.”
In On Conditionals Again
, ed. by Angeliki
, and René Dirven
, 191–222. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Li, Charles N., and Sandra A. Thompson
1973 “Serial verb constructions in Mandarin Chinese: Coordination or Subordination?”
In You Take the High Node and I’ll Take the Low Node: Papers from the Comparative Syntax Festival
, ed. by Chicago Linguistics Society, 96–103.
1983 Anaphora and Semantic Interpretation
. London: Croom Helm.
Roberts, John R
1988 “Amele Switch-reference and the Theory of Grammar.” Linguistic Inquiry
“On Syntactic Convergence: The Case of the Verb say in Tibeto-Burman
Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistic Society
1985 Comparison and Universal Grammar
. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Thompson, Sandra A
1985 “Grammar and Written Discourse: Initial vs. Final Purpose Clauses in English.” Text
Westermann, Diedrich H
1961 Die Ewe-Sprache in Togo. Zweite berichtigte Aussage von E. Kähler-Meyer
. Berlin: De Gruyter.
Cited by 3 other publications
. Chinese Motion-Directional Construction: A Conceptual and Cognitive Analysis
. Studies in Chinese Linguistics
pp. 119 ff.
Nikitina, Tatiana & Alexandra Vydrina
. Reported speech in Kakabe: Loose syntax with flexible indexicality
. Folia Linguistica
pp. 133 ff.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 5 may 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers.
Any errors therein should be reported to them.