Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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Interclausal subordination, serving various functions in written discourse, has been studied mostly from a quantitative perspective in later language development. The current study applied a discourse-functional approach to a quantitative and qualitative examination of subordinate Adverbial Clauses (ACs) in Hebrew writing development.

Analysis targeted narrative and expository texts, written by Hebrew speaker-writers in grades 4, 7, 11, and university students. Adverbial clauses were counted, and classified according to function. In narratives, they delineated either plotline , surrounding , or subjective . Expository ACs served to the current argument, new arguments in previous discourse, or , initiating a new topic.

Narrative ACs had similar prevalence across development, but shifted functionally, favoring interpretive roles in older writers. Expository ACs retained their enlarging-on and anchoring functions, while decreasing in quantity, parallel to an increase in alternative, clause-internal devices. The study underscores the usefulness of a functionally-oriented perspective in revealing developmental changes in the syntax-discourse interface.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): adverbial clauses; discourse functions; expository; Hebrew; narrative; writing development
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