Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0378-4169
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9927
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Relative Clauses (RCs) have been described and classified according to many different criteria (Sect. 1). This article deals with the distinctions that can be observed within the variety of English RCs in terms of phonological shape, syntactic structure, semantic content, presuppositions and thematic structure of the utterance. A classification of RCs is proposed, which is based upon criteria of all different levels (Sect. 2). The aim is to provide a way to characterize as precisely as possible the functional features of any RC in correlation with its formal features. The classification is then applied to an analysis of the often stated equivalence between RCs and other kinds of linguistic constituents, leading to the recognition of the different types of RCs that are functionally equivalent to adjectives, participles, prepositional phrases and coordinated sentences (Sect. 3). A further application proposed is the comparison between the functional and formal features of English and Italian RCs (Sect. 4).


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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