The Thought Occurs

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

How To Distinguish Non-Defining From Defining Relative Clauses — From Roundabout

A defining (embedded) relative clause cannot typically be fronted (as Theme), since it functions as the Qualifier in a nominal group realising a direct or indirect participant.

A non-defining (ranking) relative clause can be fronted (in the clause nexus), as in:
Founded in 1690 by Prince Constantine Brancoveanu, the monastery of Horezu is a masterpiece of the ‘Brancovenesti’ style.*

Built by King Philip, the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo El Real is a must-see of Madrid.°
See the discussion of these fronted non-finite hypotactic elaborating attributive clauses in Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 404).

* analysis requested by Claudia Stoian on Sysfling, April 2012 (see here)

° analysis requested by Claudia Stoian on Sysfling, October 2012

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