By Eldon G. Lytle
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Additional resources for A Grammar of Subordinate Structures in English
Eleven apostles were faithful, but the other betrayed his Master. An extensive examination of relative clause constructions suggests that any and all such structures can be explicated in terms of the relationships we have defined. Whereas a taxonomic approach might lead one to set up lists of word-types occurring 21 It is interesting to note that the analysis presented in the following paragraphs, although arrived at independently, corresponds in essence with the analysis of relative clauses presented in the PortRoyal Logic: "A complex expression is a mere explication [nonrestrictive clause] if either (1) the idea expressed 6y the complex expression is already contained in the comprehension of the idea or (2) some accidental characteristic of all the inferiors of an idea is expressed by the principal word.
Briefly, the semantic argument is as follows: The sentence professors, who enjoy poetry, are idealistic is semantically identical to professors enjoy poetry and professors are idealistic. Each sentence makes the same allegations about the same referents. Each can stand alone in its own right. This is evidenced by the fact that the embedded nonrestrictive clause can be removed without changing the meaning of the matrix: professors are idealistic. The same is not true of the corresponding restrictive professors who enjoy poetry are idealistic.
These sentences differ in a number of ways. . The first sentence is a single assertion about a certain subclass of professors; only those who enjoy poetry. The assertion is that such professors are idealistic. But the second makes two assertions: that all professors are idealistic and that all professors like poetry. It is characteristic of nonrestrictive relative clauses that they are interpreted as assertions which could stand in their own right as independent sentences without changing the meaning of the sentences in which they appear.