Unit 9: More About Clauses: 9.8 Prepositional clauses

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The fifth type of clause is the PREPOSITIONAL CLAUSE (PCl). These are easy to recognise because they always begin with a preposition: they differ from PP's in that, like all clauses, they contain a predicator. Like PP's, PCl's function as either A or M.


21a.

Se{

MCl [
S

NP

(He)
P

VP

(was)
C

AjP

(frightened)
A
SCl [
PCl
x
by
pr
O

NP
H
(what)
pn
S

NP
H
(he)
pn
P

VP
H
(saw)
V

]

]

}

21b.

Se{

MCl [
S


(I)
P


(have)
O


(little recollection
M
SCl [
PCl
x
of
pr
O

NP

(what)
S

NP

(he)
P

VP

(said)

]

)

]

}

Notice that (21a) exhibits direct subordination while (21b) exhibits indirect subordination.

This completes our survey of basic clause types, and gives some idea of the variety of patterns that are available in English. The variety is increased by the fact that all these patterns can also contain non-finite verbs (to go, going, gone), and by the use of ellipsis.