S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 30 Number 1/4 (1994)
Relative Clauses, Adverbial Clauses, and Information Flow in Discourse
- Hwang, Shin Ja Joo
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.30 No.4, pp. 673-705
- This paper compares discourse functions of relative clauses and adverbial clauses to information flow, primarily in Korean and English written texts. It shows how their functions in discourse are responsive to syntactic orders and information flow, e.g., an iconic ordering of events. While many head-initial languages like English have postnominal relative clauses and both pre- and postposed adverbial clauses, head-final languages like Korean generally have prenominal relative clauses and only preposed adverbial clauses (with no or a very limited distribution of postposed ones). The difference in the syntactic position of relative clauses in each type of language causes them to function differently in discourse, e.g., Korean and Japanese relative clauses may function to back-reference at the beginning of a sentence, much as preposed adverbial clauses do in a head-initial language. The functional difference in English between pre- vs. postposed clauses is achieved by other means in Korean, e.g., preposing the subject with the topic particle before the adverbial clause, and using an equational sentence.