Main Clause Phenomena and Adverbial Clauses

Liliane Haegeman

in Adverbial Clauses, Main Clause Phenomena, and the Composition of the Left Periphery

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199858774
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979912 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax

Main Clause Phenomena and Adverbial Clauses

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  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


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This chapter shows that what are usually labeled adverbial clauses differ in terms of their internal syntax: while main clause phenomena (MCP) are banned from some adverbial clauses, they are not excluded from all adverbial clauses. Argument fronting is used as the prototypical MCP for English. It shows that the difference between the two types of adverbial clauses is reflected in their external syntax. In particular, adverbial clauses compatible with argument fronting have properties of main clauses and are less integrated with the clause that they modify. The chapter distinguishes “central” adverbial clauses from “peripheral” adverbial clauses; the labeling is intended to reflect the different degree of integration of the clause with respect to the clause they modify.

Keywords: central adverbial clause; peripheral adverbial clause; internal syntax; main clause phenomena; argument fronting

Chapter.  20617 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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