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ERIC Number: ED398751
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Distribution and Function of Relative Clauses in Literature.
Hardy, Donald E.; Milton, Karen
A study of two contemporary American novels, told in first-person narration, explored the distribution and function of relative clauses in literary narrative. For comparative purposes, data from oral conversation, 2 written expository works, 6 other novels, and 20 short oral narratives were also considered. Three types of relative clause are examined: relativizations on direct objects (P-relatives), on subjects of intransitive verbs (S-relatives), and on subjects of transitive verbs (A-relatives). Distributional differences between conversational and literary data, forms and functions of the three relative types, and the influence of genre on distributions are discussed. It is concluded that the discourse/pragmatic function of genre may have as much or more to do with determining the particular distributional frequencies of P-, S-, and A-relatives as the informational status of P, S, and A arguments. S-relatives appear to occur in greater percentages in informal discourse; P-relatives occur in greater percentages in exophoric discourse; and A-relatives occur in greater percentages in third-person narrative discourse, oral or literary, that demands interaction among characters and events on a time line and lacks high concentration of exophoric reference. Contains 22 references. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A