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I. COORDINATION: Semantic Aspects 1.1. Semantic Classification of Coordination 1.2. Gapping 1.3. Regrouping II. SUBORDINATION / Embedding 2.1. Classification of Subordinated Clauses: The Functional Criterion 2.1.1. The Complement / Nominal Clause 2.1.2. The Attributive / Adjectival Clause 2.1.3. The Adverbial Clause 2.2. Classification of Subordinated Clauses: The Structural Criterion 2.2.1. Finite Clauses 2.2.2. Non-finite Clauses 2.2.3. Verbless Clauses 2.3. Subordinating Conjunctions / Subordinators / Subjoiners 2.3.1. Syndetical Subordination 2.3.2. Asyndetical Subordination 2.4. Types of Subordinate Clauses 2.4.1. The Subject Clause The That Subject Clause. Extraposition + it Insertion The Infinitive Subject Clause. Raising and Tough Movement The Gerund Subject Clause The Dependent Interrogative Subject Clause Nominal Relative Subject Clauses Cleft and Pseudo-cleft Sentences 2.4.2. The Predicative / Subject Complement Clause Nominal Predicative Clauses That Predicative Clauses Dependent Interrogative Predicative Clauses The Infinitive Predicative Clause Independent Relative Predicative Clauses The ing Predicative Clause Adjectival Predicative Clauses Adverbial Predicative Clauses 2.4.3. The Direct Object Clause The that Direct Object Clause Infinitival and -ing Direct Object Clauses The Infinitival Direct Object Clause Raising in Infinitive Direct Object Clauses -ing Direct Object Clauses Dependent Interrogative Direct Object Clauses Independent Relative Clauses 2.4.4. Indirect Object Clauses 2.4.5. The Prepositional Object Clause The that Prepositional Object Clause Infinitive Prepositional Object Clauses -ing Prepositional Object Clauses Dependent Interrogative Prepositional Object Clauses Independent Relative Prepositional Object Clauses 2.4.6. The Adverbial Clauses Adverbial Clauses of Time Adverbial Clauses of Place Adverbial Clauses of Cause / Reason Adverbial Clauses of Condition Adverbial Clauses of Concession / Contrast Adverbial Clauses of Purpose / Final Clauses Adverbial Clauses of Result / Consecutive Clauses Adverbial Clauses of Comparison / Comparative Clauses Other Minor Types of Adverbial Subordinate Clauses: Instrumental, Exception and Restriction, Relation, Quantity, Measure, Degree, Approximation of Proportion


Coordination: Semantic Aspects

Both coordination and subordination involve the linking of units, but in coordination the units are constituents of the same level, whereas in subordination they are on different levels. An important difference between coordination and subordination is that only in the former can the order of the two linked linguistic units be changed without a consequent change in the semantic relationships of the units. For example: Mary studies at a university 1/ and John works at a factory. 2/ John works at a factory 1/ and Mary studies at a university. 2/ !!! BUT: He died 1/ and he was buried in a cemetery. 2/ is different from: He was buried in a cemetery 1/ and he died. 2/ (The explanation in the last example is that if a cause-result relationship is implicit, the order cannot be changed without changing the relationship between the cause and the result and the overall meaning).

The term coordination is used by some grammarians for both syndetic coordination (when explicit indicators of coordination are present) and asyndetic coordination (when the relationship of coordination is not marked overtly). Syndetic coordination is realised by means of coordinators / conjoiners:

1. conjunctions: simple : and, or, but correlative: eitheror, not onlybut also, neithernor, nornor,
no soonerthan, etc. 2. conjunctive adverbs / conjuncts: also, indeed, still, yet, (or) else, etc. Asyndetic coordination / juxtaposition is marked in writing by a comma, a semicolon (;) or a colon (:) and in speech by a short pause.


Semantic Classification of Coordination

Traditionally, three main types of coordination are generally acknowledged: a). the copulative coordination, which expresses an association of meanings, an agreement and is characterised by a logical and chronological succession of events. This type of coordination is achieved by the conjunctions and and nor, as well as by the conjunctive adverbs: also, besides, moreover, furthermore, as well as, and by the correlatives: bothand, not onlybut also, neithernor. b). the disjunctive coordination, which expresses an opposition between two real facts or events; it implies an alternative or choice and is mainly expressed by the conjunctions: or, (or) else, and the conjunctive adverb otherwise, as well as by the correlatives eitheror. e.g. She may phone or she may write about her arrival.

c). the adversative coordination, which is established between two clauses contrasting in meaning but which do not exclude each other. It is mainly expressed by the conjunction but as well as by the conjunctive adverbs: yet, still, nevertheless, however, whereas, while, only (that). e.g. She is very clever but I dont like her. We sometimes quarrel, yet / still / nevertheless / however / but on the whole we are the best of friends. To these three basic types, some grammarians add the causal-consecutive coordination, which is situated at the border-line between coordination and subordination: d). the causal-consecutive coordination has the meaning of cause-effect, achieved mainly by conjunctive adverbs: therefore, consequently, accordingly, so, hence, then, thus (most sounding resultative) and by the conjunction for (Rom. cci), which sounds causative, but not felt as strong as its subordinating counterparts because, since, as. e.g. I wont do this for Im not so brave.

As to the distinction between subordination and coordination in this case, the criterion proposed by Andrei Banta is the possibility for presentation1: if we can separate the two clauses by a full stop, they are coordinated. e.g. He sleeps very little. Therefore he is exhausted. (coordination)

On the other hand, e.g. He has no money because he doesnt work. (subordination) cannot be divided by a full stop (or at least not within the speech of one and the same person). The order of clauses in the causal-consecutive coordination is not optional since the cause must always precede the effect. Other grammarians include here one more class: e). the explanatory coordination, which explains what has been stated before, bringing about the motivation and correction of the preceding clause. It is mainly realised by means of that is (to say) / i.e., namely, in other words, let us say, say, etc. e.g. She hasnt made her mind yet, that is to say she is still considering your proposal.

Here, too, the order of the two coordinated clauses is not optional since the explanation follows he statement.

A. Banta, 1996, Descriptive English Syntax, Institutul European, p. 207.



Gapping operates only on coordinated structures. It is a transformation rule which deletes identical or redundant elements in coordinated clauses. This transformation can apply several times to the same sentence. Gapping operates within certain limits which are determined by the so-called directionality constraint and the higher order constituent constraint. The DIRECTIONALITY CONSTRAINT stipulates that the occurrence of the deletion in the first or second conjunct2 depends on whether the identical structures are on the right or left branches of the phrase marker3. Thus, if identical elements are on the left branches, the deletion takes place in the second coordinated clause. This phenomenon is called forward gapping. e.g. John caught a fish 1/ and John cooked it. 2/

and S1 NP V

a fish John (deleted)




2 3

Conjunct = coordinated clause. Phrase marker = the graphic tree-diagram used for the syntactic analysis in the Transformational Generative Grammar. Some examples of phrase markers / tree-diagrams are presented below. As one can notice, this tree-diagram looks like an upside down tree whose branches are oriented to the left (/) or to the right (\).

As the repeated element, John, is placed on a left branch in this tree-diagram, it can be deleted in the second coordinated clause (forward gapping) and the gapped sentence is: John caught a fish and cooked it, which is fully grammatical. The same is true about the following sentence: John played football 1/ and Henry played cricket. 2/

and S1 NP V

football Henry


cric cricket. ket.


As the repeated element, played, is placed on a left branch in this tree-diagram, it can be deleted in the second coordinated clause (forward gapping) and the gapped sentence is: John caught a fish and cooked it. If the identical elements are on the right branch, we have deletion in the first clause, i.e. gapping applies backward (backward gapping). e.g. John played football 1/ and Mary watched football. 2/ The gapped sentence is: John played and Mary watched football.


played played

football Mary


cric football. ket.

watched watched

The HIGHER ORDER CONSTITUENT CONSTRAINT relates to the order in which identical elements of different ranks are deleted. The higher an element is placed in the phrase marker, the higher its rank and order. Elements of higher order must be deleted before elements of lower order. Gapping starts on the top and continues towards the bottom of the phrase marker. If there are no identical elements of higher order, gapping applies consecutively to the immediately lower ranks with identical elements. e.g. 1. John played football and Henry played football. 2. John and Henry played football. (the gapped sentence) 3. *4 John played and Henry played football. 4. * John played football and Henry football. Here the whole VP played football is subject to backward gapping as its place in the phrase marker is on the right branch and because this whole phrase is of an order higher than that of both its individual constitutive elements, played and football, respectively. Gapping may also apply at the level of compound noun phrases if they have identical headnouns. e.g. There were red apples and green apples in the basket. (The gapped sentence is: There Halleys report on ancient drama and Henrys report on modern music were very interesting. (The gapped sentence is: Halleys report on ancient drama and Henrys on modern music were very interesting. forward gapping) were red and green apples in the basket. backward gapping)

The asterisk (*) at the beginning of a sentence marks an incorrect / impossible formulation.


VP NP2 Det. NP N PrepP V AdjP

NP1 Det. N NP





on anc. dr. drama on ancient drama

Hs Henrys


on m.m. on modern music


very interesting.

Within compound noun phrases, gapping can also apply to identical constituents on the left, that is to determiners and adjectives as modifiers, and to those on the right, that is prepositional phrases.

Deletion at the VP level Since the auxiliary constituents are on left branches, in their case gapping operates forward. e.g. John must play football and Henry must go fencing. John must play football and Henry go fencing. If the two coordinated clauses also have identical Subjects, the auxiliary can be deleted only after the Subject has been deleted (the higher order constituent constraint operates in this case). e.g. Frank was writing a letter and Frank was listening to the radio. This becomes, after gapping: a). Frank was writing a letter and was listening to the radio. (First the S is deleted by means of forward gapping) b). Frank was writing a letter and listening to the radio. (then the second auxiliary was is deleted, also by means of forward gapping, as its place in the phrase marker is on a left branch, too) c). * Frank was writing a letter and Frank listening to the radio. (the forward gapping of the auxiliary was before the deletion of the second Subject Frank is impossible!) becomes, after forward gapping,

Gapping can also delete the identical head-verbs of a VP (see e.g. 1 below). If any identical auxiliary is present, it is also deleted (see e.g. 2 below). e.g. 1. Mary loves dogs and John loves cats. becomes, after forward gapping, Mary loves dogs and John cats. 2. Billy will go to school and John will go to the university. This sentence transforms into: Billy will go to school and John to the university. Together with the identical head-verb, any noun phrase or prepositional phrase to the right of the verb or the noun can be deleted on condition that there remains at least one non-identical element in the two verb phrases: e.g. 3. John (leaves the house at seven) and Mary (leaves the house at eight thirty)5. This becomes: John leaves the house at seven and Mary at eight thirty.

At NP and VP level, we may say that gapping generally deletes the head constituent and all the identical constituents to the left of the head and all but one constituent to the right of the head [e.g. (3) above].



If two or more conjoined clauses have similar syntactic structure, they may undergo regrouping. This transformation does not require identical constituents and does not have to delete any elements. Regrouping joins together constituents of the same type, i.e. having the same position in the diagram tree / phrase marker. In order to avoid semantic confusion, a quantifier should be added (such as respectively, each, both). e.g.

John (NP1) watched TV (VP1) 1/ and Mary (NP2) listened to the radio (VP2). 2/

The brackets here mark the two verb phrases in the two coordinated clauses. The PrepPs at seven and at seven thirty are the non-identical elements which remain of the two VPs, respectively.

The two coordinated clauses have identical VP structure. Therefore the whole sentence can be regrouped as: John and Mary (NP1 + NP2) watched TV and listened to the radio (VP1 + VP2), respectively. It may happen that the constituents which are regrouped are not only of the same type, but are identical. In this case regrouping is followed by a rule called identical conjunct collapsing and by deletion of conjunction: e.g. John (NP1) smoked (VP1) 1/ and Mary (NP2) smoked (VP2). 2/

The intermediate stage in the regrouping transformation would be: *John and Mary (NP1 + NP2) smoked and smoked (VP1 + VP2). But it is transformed directly into: John and Mary smoked. (identical conjunct collapsing + deletion of conjunction) Regrouping is a major source of obtaining compound constituents (such as John and Mary in the previous example), but not all compound constituents are obtained from coordinated clauses by regrouping (see John and Henry in the next example). There are cases when it is clear that compound constituents are generated by phrase structure rules, that is, they are found in the Deep Structure and are not the result of regrouping. This applies, for example, to the so-called similarity predicates: e.g. alike!!!) John and Henry are alike. (This sentence does not go back to John is alike and Henry is