A Reconsideration of Grammatical Categorization in English: The Clause

  • John Franklin Wiredu
Keywords: clause; dependent clause; grammatical role; grammatical function


Various models for categorizing grammatical units exist in the literature. Particularly nebulous, however, are terminologies for conceptualizing categories at the level of the clause. For example, the term complement has been used, confusingly sometimes, as both a functional term and, on some occasions, as a structural term. In this study, a model of categorization is proposed, which keeps functional classification separate from structural classification, in order that concepts used in grammatical analysis can be clearly understood and be applied more easily in text analysis. Accordingly, the specific aim of this study is to examine some already ‘accepted’ subcategories of the dependent clause and, in the process, propose a new approach for the analysis of this clause type. This approach, it is hoped, will remove (a) semantic considerations from the analysis of these grammatical units and (b) the confusion between the notional and syntactic description of the units. In the end, this work involves a reconsideration of some traditional ways of doing grammatical categorization with the hope that it will ease identification of grammatical categories. The overall goal is to offer a more consistent and structured approach to the grammatical analysis of the clause in English.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2458-746X
print ISSN: 0855-1502