Theory of Clause

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This paper will analyze the theory of Clause as Representation including discussion of types of process, participant and circumstance and their realizations, and suggest ways in which this aspect of grammar might influence English Language Teaching (ELT) course design.


Usually, relative clause cannot stand alone as a sentence. In contrast to dependent clause, independent or main clause is a clause that can stand alone. Main clause is synonymous to a simple sentence. In essence, clause is the basic unit of meaning in the English language (Stuart-Smith, 2003). Either dependent or independent, a clause conveys a message. This paper, on the other hand, examines the relative clause as a basic unit of a language in relation to functional grammar, especially in the ideational metafunction level. Here, the use of the word clause will refer to dependent clause.
The usage of a clause in the different world languages differs greatly. There are three identified dimensions of these differences: (1) position of the clause with respect to the head noun or the noun being modified; (2) how a clause is marked; (3) the absence or presence of a pronominal reflex (Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman, 1999, p.573). In the English language, a clause follows the head noun. For instance, in the sentence, "San Antonio is a city that has experienced very rapid growth," the head-noun San Antonio precedes the italicized clause. To place the clause before the head noun in a sentence sounds, if not ungrammatical, awkward. Farsi and Arabic languages share similar syntactic pattern in the clause usage compared to most European languages. ...
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