Surface Structure of Clauses

  • Robert E. Longacre
Part of the Topics in Language and Linguistics book series (TLLI)


Clause structures are the surface units which most regularly encode case frames, i. e., predications. Exceptions to clause-level encoding of predications are mentioned in the next chapter. Also postponed to the next chapter is the presentation of the distinction between independent and dependent clauses as basic structures versus medial and final (or initial and consecutive) clauses as more basic. This chapter is rather the place to discuss (1) systems of clause structure according to transitivity; (2) nominative—accusative versus ergative—absolutive structures; (3) passive, anti-passive, and agency hierarchy; (4) clause extensions, i. e., cleft, pseudocleft, extraposition, left-dislocation, etc.; (5) constituent order typologies. While there is a certain intrinsic interest in all the above, they are discussed here especially in relation to the structure of discourses.


Noun Phrase Word Order Indirect Object Transitive Verb Client State 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Longacre
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Summer Institute of LinguisticsDallasUSA
  2. 2.University of Texas at ArlingtonArlingtonUSA

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