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Clauses in combination (Clause complexes)

Clause: The highest-ranking unit in the grammar. It is the point of origin

of the systems of TRANSITIVITY, MOOD and THEME, realized by
three simultaneous structural layers (transitivity structure, modal
structure and thematic structure). In the unmarked case, it realizes a
figure (experiential), move (interpersonal) and message (textual); and it
is realized by a tone group.
Clause complex: A sentence can be interpreted as a clause complex: a
Head clause together with other clauses that modify it. A combination of
clauses related paratactically or hypotactically but not through
embedding; the mode of combination is the mode of organization of the
logical subtype of the ideational metafunction. For example, clauses
combined through coordination form a clause complex. The notion of
clause complex thus enables us to account in full for the functional
organization of sentences (cf. Halliday 1994: 216).
Parataxis: Logical interdependency between clauses where the
interdependents are of equal status. Roughly comparable to coordination
in traditional grammar. If two clauses are related paratactically, the
primary one is initiating (1), and the secondary one continuing (2).
||| I switched on my TV set || and there was a programme about whales.
||| Lets face it, || the human body is like a condominium apartment. |||
Hypotaxis: Logical interdependency between clauses where the
interdependents are of unequal status. Thus one of the clauses can be
seen as a Head being modified by the other(s). If two clauses are related
hypotactically, the primary one is dominant (), and the secondary one
dependent (). Roughly comparable to subordination in traditional
grammar. The traditional term subordination does usually not
differentiate hypotaxis and embedding (rankshifted clauses).
||| Fear of flying is quite rational | because human beings cannot fly. |||

||| Because human beings cannot fly, | fear of flying is quite rational. |||

Embedding: rankshifted clauses

clause as part of (nominal) group (downranked to part of constituent)

clause as participant (downranked to clause constituent)
||| I

once had

a leather jacket [[that got ruined in the rain]].

Subject Adjunct Pred.

Process Attribute

Clause combination: expansion, projection, embedding

expansion: elaboration (=), extension (+), enhancement
Clause as part of group
1. The people [[that run the stores at the airport]] have no idea [[what things cost
anywhere else]]. (nominal group)
2. You never see anybody on TV [[just sliding off the front of the sofa with potato
chip crumbs all over their shirt]]. (nominal group)
3. Just go as fast [[as you can]]. (adverbial group)
4. Theyre very proud [[that they have a fireplace]]. (nominal/adjectival group)
Clause as clause constituent (participant)
1. [[Driving to the airport]] can make me nervous.
2. I gave her [[whatever I had there]].
3. He likes [[to travel to exotic places]].

the secondary clause expands the primary clause

Elaborating (i.e.)

restating in other words, specifying in greater detail, commenting, exemplifying

1. Kings, emperors and pharaohs had storytellers; || that was their entertainment.
2. I have a friend whos unemployed || hes collecting unemployment insurance.
3. They decided to cancel the show, | which upset everybody. ^
4. They decided to cancel the show, | upsetting a lot of people. ^
5. Pfaff succeeds Martin Burke, | who resigned. ^
6. He appears as an independent and self-reliant figure, | whose rugged
individualism need not be pressed into the mold of a 9 to 5 routine. ^
7. One of the roughest was the TV quiz shows, | which gave him inferiority
complexes. ^
8. His inner voice, which should tell him what not to do, has not developed.
Extending (and, or)

adding some new element, giving an exception to it, offering an alternative

addition (positive, negative, adversative), variation (replacive, subtractive)


Maybe the comets killed the dinosaurs, || maybe they tripped and fell. (1^2)
Its my book || but you can read it. (1^2)
I could not cling to my past || nor did I wish to. (1^2)
Vocational courses should be provided in grades 11 and 12; || however, for
slow learners and prospective dropouts these courses ought to begin earlier.
5. Some mediums speak in practical, down-to-earth terms, | while others may
stress the spiritual. ^
6. If they are here, | then surely I have the right to be here. (^)
7. We used to go away at the weekend, | taking all our gear with us. ^
Enhancing (so, yet, then)

qualifying the primary clause with some circumstantial feature of time, place,
cause or condition.
mostly adverbial clauses

1. Arger was never able to produce it, || so I cut him off my payroll. (1^2)
2. We'll work for about an hour on Saturday, || then we'll work Monday and
Tuesday of next week, || then taper off. (1^2^3)

3. I left my wife | because I realized that I had made an awful mistake. ^

4. Though my car is quite old, | it is still in running order. ^
5. A glider pilot is in hospital with a fractured rib | after his aircraft crashed into
an electricity pylon. ^
6. People always run | to see a fire. ^
7. Keeping a nervous eye on the passing traffic | many wondered out loud which
of them would be next. ^
8. Our chairman being away on holiday | there is little we can do about it right
now. ^

the secondary clause is projected through the primary (projecting) clause

reporting speech/ideas
projected clauses represent propositions/proposals with a different source

Verbal process: direct speech

1. She said || "I just work here". 1^2
Verbal process: indirect speech
2. She said | that she worked there. ^
Mental process (cognition): direct/indirect
3. Men think: || "Obviously I can be talked into anything." 1^2
4. Men think | that they can obviously be talked into anything. ^
5. I dont want | to become a refugee for the rest of my life. ^
Mental process (perception)
6. Theyve heard | that hes a good lecturer. ^
7. Adam saw | that she had stopped again. ^
Embedded projection

8. My question is [[if you can go faster, why dont you go as fast as you can all
the time]]?
9. If there were more such cases, it would be easier to answer the question
[[whether the policy-makers favor their own social classes]].
10. It is difficult to understand [[why you cant go faster]].
11. [[That you dislike her]] is obvious to everyone in the department.
12. It is obvious [[that you dislike her]].
That you dislike her




Process (rel.)





Projections and projecting clauses ideas vs. facts

1. Mark Anthony thought || that Caesar was dead. (thought -- cognition -projecting)
2. Mark Anthony regretted [[that Caesar was dead]]. (regretted -- affection -- not
3. It strikes me || that there is no-one here. (mental process - cognition)
4. It worries me [[that there is no-one here]]. (mental process - affection)
(cf. Halliday 1994:267)
5. She understood that the house needed restoration.
6. She saw that the house needed restoration.

Text analysis
Lets face it, the human body is like a condominium
The thing that keeps you from really enjoying it is the
Theres a tremendous amount of daily, weekly, monthly, and
yearly work that has to be done.
From showering to open heart surgery, were always doing
something to ourselves.

parataxis elaboration:

enhancement ^
parataxis projection
Youd go, "Nah, Ive heard about these human being bodies.
This is one of those Earth models, right?
Yeah, a cousin of mine had one.
Too much work to keep them going.
embedded projection
The new ones are nice looking, though."
If your body was a used car, you wouldnt buy it

||| Lets face it, || the human body is like a condominium apartment. |||
||| The thing [[that keeps you from really enjoying it]] is the maintenance. |||
||| Theres a tremendous amount of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly work
[[that has to be done.]] |||
||| From showering to open heart surgery, were always doing something to
ourselves. |||
||| If your body was a used car, | you wouldnt buy it. |||
||| Youd go, || "Nah, Ive heard about these human being bodies. |||
||| This is one of those Earth models, right? |||
||| Yeah, a cousin of mine had one. |||
||| Too much work [[to keep them going]]. |||
||| The new ones are nice looking, though." |||
Basic types of clause complex: taken from Halliday 1994: 220
Expansion elaboration

John didnt wait; he ran away. John ran away, which surprised
John ran away, and Fred
stayed behind.

enhancement John was scared, so he ran

Projection locution


John ran away, whereas Fred

stayed behind.
John ran away because he was

John said: "Im running


John said he was running away.

John thought to himself: "Ill

run away."

John thought he would run away.

Clause as constituent?

Thematic equative
1. What the English did was to introduce tea as a part of their daily lives.
Thematized comment
2. Its nice to sit down with a quiet cup of tea.
Predicated Theme
3. It was the English who first introduced tea as a part of their daily lives.
Enhancement circumstantial adjunct?
4. We made ourselves a cup of tea after dinner.
5. We made ourselves a cup of tea after having dinner.
6. We made ourselves a cup of tea after we had had dinner.

Identify clause complexes and the ways in which the clauses have been combined.

Of course everyone wants to be healthy.

The amusing thing is no ones really sure how to do it.
I love to exercise, but I still have to laugh at it.
You go to the health club, you see all these people and theyre working out;
theyre training, theyre getting in shape.
But nobodys really getting in shape for anything.
In modern society, you dont have to be physically strong to do
The only reason that youre getting in shape is so you can get
through the workout.
So were working out, so that well be in shape, for when we
have to do our exercises.
Thats comedy.

Here's a key.

Most of the examples on this handout are from Jerry Seinfeld's book SeinLanguage
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Extra reading: M.A.K. Halliday & Ruqaiya Hasan: Cohesion in English.
London: Longman, 1976.
"The concept of cohesion is a semantic one; it refers to relations of meaning
that exist within the text, and that define it as a text.
Cohesion occurs where the interpretation of some element in the discourse is
dependent on that of another." (Halliday & Hasan 1976, p 4)
"It is important to be able to think of text dynamically, as an ongoing process of
meaning; and of textual cohesion as an aspect of this process, whereby the flow
of meaning is channelled into a tracable current of discourse instead of spilling
out formlessly in every possible direction."(Halliday 1994: 311)
Cohesion vs. coherence (distinction not systematically made by Halliday)
Coherence: connections that exist between clauses at the level of content.
Cohesion: connections between clauses / clause complexes at the textual level; i.e. the
linguistic marking of coherence.
"The textual lexicogrammatical resources for expressing relations within text without
creating grammatical structure." (C. Matthiessen, Glossary of Systemic Functional Terms)
Cohesive tie: a term to refer to a single instance of cohesion, the occurrence of a pair
of cohesively related items.
An example of cohesion without coherence
I bought a Ford. The car in which President Wilson rode down the Champs Elyses
was black. Black English has been widely discussed. The discussions between the
presidents ended last week. A week has seven days. Every day I feed my cat. Cats
have four legs. The cat is on the mat. Mat has three letters.
Types of cohesive tie

Reference: continuity by means of referential items, e.g. pronouns

Ellipsis: continuity by means of leaving out given information
Conjunction: continuity by means of logical relations, e.g. conjunctions and
conjunctive adjuncts
Lexical cohesion: continuity by means of choice of words.


Here lies Adam Smith

reference <

It was all right for Annabel -- she's only six


this is the house that Jack built

endophoric <

pronouns and determiners (personals, demonstratives):

1. The first occasion I met Sefton Hamilton was in late August last year when my
wife and I were dining with Henry and Suzanne Kennedy at their home in
Warwick Square. Hamilton was one of those unfortunate men who have
inherited immense wealth but not a lot more. He was able quickly to convince
us that he had little time to read and no time to attend the theatre or opera.
However, this did not prevent him from holding opinions on every subject
from Shaw to Pavarotti, from Gorbachev to Picasso. He remained puzzled, for
instance, as to what the unemployed had to complain about when their dole
packet was only just less than what he was currently paying the labourers
on his estate. In any case, they only spent it on bingo and drinking, he assured
2. A: Did you see they've painted our old front door green?
B: Yes, we noticed that.
3. The attempt at reassuring informality extended to the furnishing of the room.
There was an official-looking desk, but Miss Henderson had moved from
behind it as soon as Philippa was announced, and had motioned her to one of
the two vinyl-covered armchairs on each side of a low table. There were even
flowers on the table, a small blue bowl lettered 'a present from Polperro'. It held
a mixed bunch of roses. These weren't the scentless, thornless buds of the
florist's window. These were garden roses, recognised from the garden at

Caldecote Terrace. Philippa wondered if the social worker had brought them in
from her own garden.
1. A firm basis for the study of Oriental art came more slowly, and as we shall
see, some of the differences of approach between East and West still require
wider recognition. Moreover, other cultures, such as those of Africa, have had
to wait until even more recent times for recognition.
2. "Will you let us give you a hand with your bags, Dot?" Mark asked.
"What about your knee?"
He grinned again. "I'll carry the little one," he said. "You girls can take
the others."

typical of closely contiguous clause complexes, for instance in dialogue

ellipsis of Subject + Finite

A: Marcel isn't here.

B: Never is at this time. Far too early for him.

A: So what do you fancy?

B: All of it.
ellipsis of Subject + Finite + Predicator:

A: How many are you talking about?

B: About half a dozen.

ellipsis of Residue

A: Has the jury reached a verdict?

B: We have, your Honor.

A: it must be very nice for them

B: yes it must

Governmental organisations support us financially. So do companies and trusts,

and churches and individuals.
There are various reasons why a songwriter/artist should do this. I have listed
four of the more common ones below.
Little sisters are spasmo. So are big ones:


elaboration (i.e. / =)
Not of his talent -- he always knew he was good and he always knew
what a great songwriter and performer he was -- but for instance, he was
nervous of audiences.
They are also found in the top levels of local government, the health
service and privatised industries. It is, incidentally, a career in which
women are making particular headway.

extension (and / +)
addition (and)
They are most widely known as company secretaries (which is the
function of roughly 20 per cent of the UK's chartered secretaries). In

addition, they occupy senior positions in pensions, financial services and

multinational companies.
adversative (but)
The releases mark the first improvement in the human rights situation in
Malawi for several years. However, other prominent prisoners of
conscience remain behind bars.
variation (or)
Vitamin C is readily available in citrus fruits and green
peppers. Alternatively, it can be taken in tablet or capsule form.

enhancement (space, time, manner, cause, condition, matter)

1. It was not until September when she was spotted with Charles on the banks of
the River Dee at Balmoral by the royal reporter, James Whittaker, that anyone
was any the wiser. At that point life changed more than anyone could have
2. Many guests visit restaurants with preconceived ideas of what they should eat.
Therefore the restaurant manager and other front-of-house staff must use their
skill to talk enthusiastically and intelligently about the menu.
Lexical cohesion
1. Sports cars are beautiful. Small cars are practical.
2. It took me a long time to pick myself up after my husband left me and our two
young children. I'm 28. Eventually, though, through friends, I met a man. He
has asked me out but I don't know what to do. I still love my husband although
he has said he doesn't love me anymore. How can I learn to be comfortable
with another man while I still have feelings for my husband? - Kathy.
Two more policemen blocked my way. This was getting annoying I was
trapped. Every exit was blocked, and the minions of the law were advancing.
'It's not that easy,' I shouted. 'Better cops than you have tried to capture
Slippery Jim DiGriz. All have failed. Better a clean death than sordid captivity.'
Superordinate term and hyponyms

A new fruit that looks like a lime, tastes like a grapefruit and is triple the size
of a peach has been launched. The fruit, the result of 21 years' research by the
Jaffa company, is called a Sweetie. It will have an average cost of 39p. It is a
cross between a grapefruit and a pomelo, yet looks like neither and has dark-

green skin and orange flesh. It is the lowest-calorie citrus fruit on the market apart from lemons and limes - and yet also the sweetest, with the lowest
acidity. A spokesman from Jaffa said: "We are hoping that it might take over
from bananas, apples and oranges as a snack."
Lexical fields (Collocation)

He was able quickly to convince us that he had little time to read and no time to
attend the theatre or opera. However, this did not prevent him from holding
opinions on every subject from Shaw to Pavarotti, from Gorbachev to Picasso.
The "happy hour" should be scrapped in pubs and bars to curb alcoholrelated violence and anti-social behaviour, a Government report said
yesterday. Ministers were also urged to consider whether the minimum age for
buying alcohol, currently 18, should be increased. The limit is 21 in countries
like America. The Home Office study Alcohol and Crime said cut-price
drinks intended to entice early evening customers merely encouraged bingedrinking and aggression.

Analysis of cohesion in a text (from W. Faulkner: "A Rose for Emily")

When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went
to her funeral:the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen
monument, thewomen mostly out of curiosity to see the inside
of her house, which no one save an old man-servanta combined
gardener and cookhad seen in at least ten years.

anaph. personal
anaph. demonst.

It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated
with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome
style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select
street.But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even
the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emilys house was
left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons
andthe gasoline pumpsan eyesore among eyesores. And now Miss
Emily had gone to join the representatives of those august names where
they lay in the cedar-bemused cemetery among the ranked and
anonymousgraves of Union and Confederate soldiers who fell at the
battle of Jefferson.

anaph. personal

Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of
hereditary obligation upon the town, dating from that day in 1894 when
Colonel Sartoris, the mayorhe who fathered the edict that no Negro
woman should appear on the streets without an apronremitted hertaxes,
the dispensation dating from the death of her father on into
perpetuity. Not that Miss Emily would have accepted charity. Colonel

lexical: contrast
anaph. | cataph.

anaph. | extension
anaph. +


Sartoris invented an involved tale to the effect that Miss Emily's

fatherhad loaned money to the town, which the town, as a matter of
business, preferred this way of repaying. Only a man of Colonel Sartoris'
generation and thought could have invented it, and only a woman could conjunction
have believed it.
comp. | personal
When the next generation, with its more modern ideas, became mayors
and aldermen, this arrangement created some little dissatisfaction. On enhancement
the first of the year they mailed her a tax notice. February came, and
there was no reply.
personal (x2)
They wrote her a formal letter, asking her to call at the sheriff's office
enhance. | pers.
ather convenience. A week later the mayor wrote her himself, offering pers. | collocation
to call or to send his car for her, and received in reply a note on paper of pers. | repetition |
an archaic shape, in a thin, flowing calligraphy in faded ink, to the effect comparison
that she no longer went out at all. The tax notice was also enclosed,
without comment.