Previous
Contents
Next

4. Classification and description of subordinate clauses

A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (CGEL) (1985) provides a detailed description and classification of the syntactic and semantic functions of subordinate clauses which may serve as a starting point for a description of those within the Kenyan sub-corpus. Included within the definition of subordination applied here (cf. Section 1.3.1) are, however, relative clauses, which CGEL describes as postmodifying clauses and deals with separately. To<

[4.1] Offering their children away may seem to be a strange expression of parental love [W2E-006-0225]
[4.2] This was what I was trying to say [S1A-029-80]
[4.3] I didn't know what to do with my time [S1A-021-12]
[4.4] I find it so boring to always be moaning [S1A-027-185]
[4.5] When he was a young man, he was a warrior [S1A-024-13]

A subordinate clause may also function as a postmodifier in a noun phrase, as in [4.6], or as a prepositional complement [4.7], or as an adjectival complement [4.8].

[4.6] I looked for a dress that could fit her [W2F-020-0170]
[4.7] For fear of what might befall him he married me [W2F-020-01178]
[4.8] I was really grateful that somebody recognised my work [S1A-023-39]

Subordinate clauses can be divided into four major categories: nominal, adverbial, relative and comparative, as described in detail below. Omitted from this analysis are structures used for the purpose of focusing or giving information a more prominent position such as cleft [4.9] (including reduced relatives as cleft sentences [4.10]) and pseudo-cleft sentences [4.11], which are neither nominal nor relative despite the use of that, zero pronoun or a wh- pronoun (cf. CGEL §18.25 - 30<[4.9] It was at one such party that I met M.M. [W2F-013-02114] [4.10] Is it you opening the door or is it someone else? [W2F-014-0126] [4.11] Then he remembered that ice was what he needed [W2F-014-01147] [4.12] You know it was so mysterious and there were these little paths you know leading to this place There were animals going down to drink [S1A-024-186-188] [4.13] I'll get somebody from Nyanza doing saying the same [S1A-029-63] [4.14] We have less women writing [S1A-030-18]

4.1. The syntax of nominal clauses

Nominal clauses, like noun phrases, may function as subject, object, subject and object complements, appositive and prepositional complements but, unlike noun phrases, they may also function as complementation of an adjective without a preposition (CGEL §15.2), as in

[4.1.1] Aware that her system was allergic to the night air, ... [W2F-014-0112 ]

CGEL (§15.3) distinguishes six main categories of nominal clause according to their form:
  1. that-clauses, or subordinate declarative clauses
  2. subordinate interrogative clauses
  3. subordinate exclamative clauses
  4. nominal relative clauses
  5. to-infinitive clauses
  6. -ingclauses.

In the following sections concrete examples (taken from the above described corpus if available) are given of the potential syntactic functions of the clauses in these six categories. The minor categories of bare infinitives and verbless clauses are also looked at briefly. Different forms of verb complementation that occur with nominal clauses are discussed. Finally, the inclusion of direct speech as a nominal clause in this analysis is accounted for and associated problems are discussed and exemplifi<

A nominal that-clause may function as subject, as in [4.1.1.1], as direct object in a monotransitive [4.1.1.2] or in a ditransitive construction [4.1.1.3], as subject complement [4.1.1.4], as appositive, in apposition to a noun as in [4.1.1.5] or to a clause as in [4.1.1.6], or as adjectival complement [4.1.1.7], (cf. CGEL §15.4).

[4.1.1.1] ... but that we should say that this kind of thing is possible is a different matter altogether [S1A-027-202]
[4.1.1.2] Did she also know that something was gravely wrong? [W2F-017-01141]
[4.1.1.3] ... so there has to be a way in which we can also persuade them that it is beneficial to them as members of our society and as individuals as well [S1A-028-139]
[4.1.1.4] Or could it be that there is an unconscious love? [W2F-011-02183]
[4.1.1.5] ... that gave some people the dangerous illusion that they were seeing and hearing what they were not. [W2F-017-01249]
[4.1.1.6] We reiterate what we have been saying for the last two weeks, that multipartyism is meaningful ... [W2E-010-02103]
[4.1.1.7] I felt happy that I am able to communicate [S1A-021-195]

Nominal that-clauses do not function as object complement or as prepositional complement.
The subordinator that is often omitted when the clause is in the direct object, as in [4.1.1.8], or complement position [4.1.1.9] and such clauses are then referred to as zero that-clauses.

[4.1.1.8] ... she told us _ she would publish the stories ... [S1A-026-14]
[4.1.1.9] However, the fact is _ they belong to the South African nation [W2E-003-0341]

It may also be omitted when complementing an adjective, as in [4.1.1.10].

[4.1.1.10] I'm sure _ you can think of a situation where you are not open enough [S1A-030-236]

The conjunction is also often omitted if the that-clause is in the subject position but extraposed, with anticipatory it, as in [4.1.1.11] and [4.1.1.12].
[4.1.1.11] ... it's a good thing _ it shocks a bit [S1A-027-207]
[4.1.1.12] I mean it's not like in some western countries where somebody has to resign because it's discovered _ he has a mistress [S1A-027-172]

Subject that-clauses are usually extraposed [4.1.1.13] and [4.1.1.14].
[4.1.1.13] It dawned on Lucy that she loved Gakenia ... [W2F-011-02170]
[4.1.1.14] It is an old African adage that when a member of a family prospers, the entire family must share in that prosperity. [W2E-001-0374]

When the superordinate clause is interrogative as in [4.1.1.15] or passive [4.1.1.16] and [4.1.1.17], extraposition is normal and if the superordinate clause is exclamatory, extraposition is obligatory. Object that-clauses are usually extraposed when with an object complement, as in [4.1.1.18].
[4.1.1.15] Is it the case that there is no food in Kenya? [W2E-001-0356]
[4.1.1.16] It was reported that many male Kenyans are turning away from the marriage institution particularly where weddings are demanded. [W2E-015-0204]
[4.1.1.17] It must be borne in mind from the very outset that the proponents of queue-voting (mlolongists) vigorously argued that this method would eliminate rigging. [W2E-011-0216]
[4.1.1.18] President Moi has already made it clear that the election will be free and fair [W2E-008-0182]

Syntactic classification is problematic in [4.1.1.19] because the zero clause is not an extraposed subject but rather follows the set idiomatic phrase it is time.2
[4.1.1.19] It is time _ they were brought to heel [W2E-002-368]

In examples such as the following [4.1.1.20], where two or more clauses are introduced by that but the conjunction is not repeated before each clause, the following clauses are also classified as that rather than zero clauses.
[4.1.1.20] But over and above all this, the President told Kenyans that the future of their country rests in their hands and _ they must be full participants in all economic and social sectors for the success of development programmes [W2E-003-0188]

4.1.2. Subordinate interrogative clauses

Subordinate interrogative clauses (CGEL §15.5 - 15.6) may be introduced by how, what, who, why, which, whose + noun, whether or if. They can be in the position of subject [4.1.2.1], direct object [4.1.2.2], subject complement [4.1.2.3] or they can complement an adjective [4.1.2.4] 3or a preposition [4.1.2.5] and [4.1.2.6].

[4.1.2.1] How I started first as a writer ... is very interesting [S1A-021-02]
[4.1.2.2] I haven't up to now asked them whether their mums also told them stories [S1A-023-117]
[4.1.2.3] All I want to know is why you treat him the way you do [W2F-017-01126]
[4.1.2.4] Gachago who says that the research is still continuing adds that he is not quite sure why some women get addicted to tuff even long after delivery. [W2B-026K - ICE-EA]
[4.1.2.5] I worried about what they'd say [W2F-015-01130]
[4.1.2.6] ... there has not been a formal announcement as to what exactly is the next step [W2E-005-03101]

Subordinate interrogatives may also be non-finite to-infinitive clauses, as in [4.1.2.7] and [4.1.2.8].
[4.1.2.7] I didn't know actually what to do with my time [S1A-021-12]
[4.1.2.8] I never thought about which language to use [S1A-026-172]

4.1.3. Subordinate exclamative clauses

A subordinate exclamative clause (CGEL §15.7) introduced by how + adj/adv, what a ... usually functions as an extraposed subject [4.1.3.1.], direct object [4.1.3.2] and [4.1.3.3], or prepositional complement (no example found).

[4.1.3.1] It was amazing how sister Maingi could roar [W2F-011-0231]
[4.1.3.2] I recalled how strictly they had brought us up [W2F-015-01121]
[4.1.3.3] The ... speech ... showed what a dim view he had of the Constitution [W2E-014-0282]

4.1.4. Nominal relative clauses

Nominal relative clauses can be paraphrased as noun phrases consisting of a noun head with general reference modified by a relative clause (CGEL §15.8), as, for example, with whoever, who (= the person who) in [4.1.4.1], whatever, what (= the thing that) (= that which) in [4.1.4.2], where (= the place where) [4.1.4.3]

[4.1.4.1] Whoever woke up earlier would light the fire [W2F-019-01146]
[4.1.4.2] She was now on to his assistant's desk picking up whatever was on it [W2F-019-0125]
[4.1.4.3] That's where circumcision took place [S1A-024-70]

The wh-element may be a determiner, as in [4.1.4.4]
[4.1.4.4] I would take up whatever new writing I would be doing to be more gender neutral [sic].[S1A-023-262]

The syntactic position of the clause in the sentence and not the syntactic position of the wh-element in the nominal relative clause is our concern here. In [4.1.4.5] the wh-element is direct object of the verb argue while the clause is the subject of the sentence. In [4.1.4.6] the wh-element is subject of the verb stimulate and the clause is in subject complement position.
[4.1.4.5] So what I'm arguing is ... [S1A-022-43]
[4.1.4.6] This is what stimulated me [S1A-026-125]

According to CGEL nominal relative clauses can be found in subject [4.1.4.5], subject complement [4.1.4.7], direct object [4.1.4.8], indirect object, object complement, apposition and prepositional complement [4.1.4.9] and [4.1.4.10] positions. Where no examples are offered, no instances could be found in the subcorpus.
Nominal relative clauses can also be realised by to-infinitive clauses. These are restricted to subject complement [4.1.4.11] and prepositional complement positions4.
[4.1.4.7] If he says you go to hell that's where you go [S1A-022-210]
[4.1.4.8] And since when was talking to boys such an offence that it makes whoever is guilty a pariah? [W2E-019-01117]
[4.1.4.9] But I wasn't prepared for what I encountered this time ... [W2F-015-01158]
[4.1.4.10] You'll go back to wherever you came minus those shining teeth [W2E-015-0625]
[4.1.4.11] ... here's when to waste not and want not [W2E-017-0201]

4.1.5. to-infinitive clauses

Nominal to-infinitive clauses can be in the syntactic positions (CGEL §15.10) of subject [4.1.5.1] and [4.1.5.2], as direct object [4.1.5.3] and [4.1.5.4], as subject complement [4.1.5.5] and [4.1.5.6], appositive [4.1.5.7] and [4.1.5.8], and adjective complement, as in [4.1.5.9] to [4.1.5.11], where an infinitive follows the adjectives willing, easy and impossible.

[4.1.5.1] To have had political "protection" and yet collapse is evidence of the greatest wrong-doing [W2E-005-0243]
[4.1.5.2] I shall not dwell on the incident because to do so is to relive it all [W2F-017-01209]
[4.1.5.3] Do you know, this woman refused to allow them inside [S1A-024-213]
[4.1.5.4] I had over the years learnt to be suspicious of all my customers [W2F-015-0142]
[4.1.5.5] I shall not dwell on the incident because to do so is to relive it all [W2F-017-01209]
[4.1.5.6] All I need is to keep quiet [S1A-029-91]
[4.1.5.7] In an update that Pakistan issued early this week to show the progress of its campaign to crack down on drug trafficking ... [W2E-001-0134]
[4.1.5.8] Sudan's leadership is in for a barb this week for its apparent intention to pursue the military option [W2E-013-01143]
[4.1.5.9] ... parents in Turkana District were, in fact, giving away their children to whoever was willing to give them money for food [W2E-001-0322]
[4.1.5.10] ... charcoal was not easy to come by[S1A-023-103]
[4.1.5.11] I thought that would be impossible to find [S1A-030-53]

The subject of a to + infinitive clause which is in the direct object position is placed between the superordinate and the subordinate clauses, as in [4.1.5.12] to [4.1.5.14].
[4.1.5.12] I would not like my children to come across it [S1A-026-162]
[4.1.5.13] I expect this boy to do some work there [S1A-030-70]
[4.1.5.14] I wanted you to come and live with me [S1A-025-178]

In other positions the new subject is generally preceded by for, as in the subject position [4.1.5.15], as adjectival complement [4.1.5.16] or appositive [4.1.5.17].
[4.1.5.15] For parents to reach a stage where they have to barter their children for food then that can only mean that they have been plunged into a crisis. [W2E-006-0221/2]
[4.1.5.16] ... they have been accorded the security necessary for them to do this. [W2E-005-0358]
[4.1.5.17] ... but the committee has rejected the demand for an independent commission to runī the elections. [W2E-011-0273]

Mair (1990: 40-53) points out that the syntactic status of for + NP is not always clear. In [4.1.5.18] for a politician can be seen as a prepositional phrase within the matrix clause (as shown in [4.1.5.18a]) or as part of the extraposed infinitival clause where fronting of the noun phrase is possible [4.1.5.18b].
[4.1.5.18] It is very easy for a politician ... to try and enlist the support of certain ethnic communities [W2E-003-0133]
[4.1.5.18a] To try and enlist the support of certain ethnic communities is very easy for a politician.
[4.1.5.18b] For a politician to try and enlist the support of certain ethnic communities is very easy.

A clear example of for introducing a subject in an infinitival phrase is in [4.1.5.19]. Here the infinitival clause could not be "intraposed" without for + subject.
[4.1.5.19] It takes more than the absence of war for the world to benefit [W2E-003-0289]

This structure with for is mainly to be found with adjectival and nominal predicates and could often be replaced by a finite that-clause. There are, however, modal differences; for-infinitival subject clauses refer to theoretical or potential rather than factual modalities, which is always the case with easy, see [4.1.5.18] above, which does not occur with that-clauses. That-clauses have more specific reference5.
In the subject position the to-infinitive clause is usually extraposed (cf. CGEL §15.10), as can be seen in [4.1.5.20] to [4.1.5.22].
[4.1.5.20] It had taken a concerted effort by members of both her family to persuade her to see the unreasonableness of it all. [W2F-017-01177]
[4.1.5.21] It is better to ignore what one spent buying a meal or beer than to consume bad food. [W2E-015-0569]
[4.1.5.22] It was most spontaneous for me to write in English[S1A-026-162]

In cases where the preposition following a verb or adjective is for, the preposition fulfils a double function when introducing a to infinitive clause with a subject as in [4.1.5.23]. These are classified as prepositional objects.
[4.1.5.23] They are waiting for a car to pass [S1A-029-155]
In the object complement position the clause is obligatorily extraposed (cf. CGEL §15.10), [4.1.5.24].
[4.1.5.24] ... two or three Kenyan stalwarts ... have taken it upon themselves to choose leaders for Kenyans [W2E-011-0341]

Nominal to-infinitive clauses also occur in wh-interrogative clauses (ibid: §15.5 - 6, cf. also above, Section 4.1.2), and nominal relative clauses (cf. Section 4.1.4).
A to-infinitive following a prepositional verb where the preposition is omitted6 is also classified as in the direct object position (cf. CGEL §16.38) as with strive (to) in [4.1.5.25], struggle (with) in [4.1.5.26], prepare (for) in [4.1.5.27].
[4.1.5.25] ... all opposition parties should strive only to see that that the polls are clean [W2E-010-02109]
[4.1.5.26] Lucy looked up with interest, struggling to open her swollen eye [W2F-020-01126]
[4.1.5.27] I was preparing to light the gas cooker [W2F-020-0181]

4.1.6. -ing clauses

Nominal -ing clauses can function as subject as in [4.1.6.1] and direct object as in [4.1.6.2], They may also function as subject complement [4.1.6.3], appositive [4.1.6.4], adjectival complement [4.1.6.5] or prepositional complement [4.1.6.6].

[4.1.6.1] Talking about readers who talk but don't "do anything" just will not do. [W2E-011-0388]
[4.1.6.2] It may also involve establishing facilities outside the original plant and animal habitats [W2E-005-150]
[4.1.6.3] So I think that's just being unfair to the women that when we portray them we tend to make them weak [S1A-025-0148]
[4.1.6.4] Now this other one bringing Selina in of course that one is interesting [S1A-024-196]
[4.1.6.5] ... the city fathers are too busy demolishing what they call illegal kiosks and slums. [W2E-020-0142]
[4.1.6.6] ... otherwise paying monthly bills for a dead service amounts to stealing by pretence ... [W2E-016-0250]

Nominal -ing clauses may have a subject, in the genitive7 , as the pronoun their in [4.1.6.7] and the 's genitive form of the noun in [4.1.6.8], in the objective case8 (with pronouns), as in [4.1.6.9] with the pronoun me being the subject of the -ing clause, or in the so-called common case (CGEL §15.12) when nouns are involved, as in [4.1.6.10] where talking is the direct object of hearing with people and women as the n<[4.1.6.7] ... it is equally important that their playing the role of peace-keepers be considered. [W2E-009-29] [4.1.6.8] ... - despite the Bush Administration's politicising the whole exercise - ... [W2E-010-109] [4.1.6.9] ... but they used to enjoy you know listening to me telling them stories [S1A-023-119] [4.1.6.10] I then actually started hearing you know people especially women talking about things that had happened to them [S1A-021-183-184]

4.1.7. Bare infinitives and verbless clauses

Bare infinitive clauses and verbless clauses are listed in CGEL (§15.15 - 16) in addition as nominal clauses. The former are nominal infinitival clauses without to, which are mainly to be found as subject complement [4.1.7.1]. Following certain verbs such as make, let, notice and help (§16.52) the structure can be in the object complement position, as in [4.1.7.2].

[4.1.7.1] What I will do now is acknowledge the great service the President rendered Kenyans by persuading the Kaun delegates to scrap the hated mlolongo [W2E-011-0206]
[4.1.7.2]< "Oh, my age-mate, please let our old bones stretch themselves together." [W2F-012-0245]

Verbless clauses were not taken into consideration in this analysis as clauses without verbs are not considered complete.

4.1.8. Verb complementation

Transitive verbs may be complemented by one object (monotransitive), by a direct and an indirect object (ditransitive) or by an object and object complement or adverbial (complex). The types of nominal clauses described above are all to be found with monotransitive complementation. In addition that-clauses, finite wh-clauses, wh- and to-infinitive clauses may all be complemented by two objects. To-infinitives, bare infinitives, -ing and -ed clauses lend <
A nominal to-infinitive construction following a verb may be part of a monotransitive, a complex transitive, or a ditransitive complementation9 (CGEL §16.36ff).
In a monotransitive complementation an infinitive clause is direct object with or without a subject [4.1.8.1a] but the noun phrase before the infinitive cannot become the subject of a passive main clause [4.1.8.1b] as is possible in complex transitive constructions [4.1.8.2a] and [4.1.8.2b]. There are only a small number of verbs in this monotransitive category, mainly those of "(not) wanting or liking" (CGEL §16.41), such as can't bear, hate, like, want.

[4.1.8.1a] I wanted [my daughter] to be a writer [S1A-021-081]
[4.1.8.1b] *My daughter was wanted to be a writer
[4.1.8.2a] ... they will allow the children's parents to know where they live [W2E-06-242]
[4.1.8.2b] ... the children's parents will be allowed to know where they live

A complex transitive construction can be divided into two parts after the verb. The noun phrase before the infinitive can become the subject of a passive main clause [4.1.8.3a] and [4.1.8.3b].
[4.1.8.3a] ... not because the society expect [sic] her to do it [S1A-025-229]
[4.1.8.3b] ... she is not expected to do it (by the society)

Ditransitive complementation includes an indirect object and a that clause, a finite wh-clause, a to-infinitive clause or a wh-infinitive clause as object (§16.59 - 63). That clauses here are mainly indirect statements, as in [4.1.8.4]: finite wh-clauses are mainly found with the verb ask, as in [4.1.8.5]. To-infinitives are indirect directives and occur with verbs such as advise, ask, beg, command, forbid, order, persuade, remind, recomm<[4.1.8.4] I think we should also tell them that there is something else [S1A-027-188] [4.1.8.5] Many women neighbours ... kept asking her co-wife daughter of Kuria, what was happening to Waceera. [W2F-012-0147] [4.1.8.6] I beg you to afford me just a little of your time [W2F-018-0254] [4.1.8.7] I told them to give me the bill and I paid then advised them to inform their cook [W2E-015-0558/9] [4.1.8.8] ... Mr Mwai Kibaki just went to advise the committee on how to write the report [W2E-014-299]
When the superordinate clause contains a ditransitive verb in the passive, as in [4.1.8.9a], the subordinate infinitive clause may still be seen as the direct object it would be in the active form of the sentence [4.1.8.9b].
[4.1.8.9.a] I have been invited for example to go and adjudicate drama in schools [S1A-028-12]
[4.1.8.9.b] They invited me to go and adjudicate drama in schools

This is also the case with other non-finite forms such as the -ing participle, as in [4.1.8.10a] and [4.1.9.11a] and the active forms [4.1.8.10b] and [4.1.8.11b], and the bare infinitive [4.1.8.12a] and [4.1.8.12b]. In the active form of [4.1.8.13a] an infinitival subordinate clause is not possible [4.1.8.13b].
[4.1.8.10a] I'd been caught brewing chang'aa! [W2F-015-0131]
[4.1.8.10b] They caught me brewing chang'aa
[4.1.8.11a] ... garbage collection vehicles are seen racing up and down [W2E-020-0226]
[4.1.8.11b] You see garbage collection vehicles racing up and down
[4.1.8.12a] ... the ethnic group ... being made to "lie low like an envelope" [W2E-012-0169]
[4.1.8.12b] They made the ethnic group lie low ...
[4.1.8.13a] It was said to have been brought about by a burning desire ... [W2E-011-03148]
[4.1.8.13b] They said it had been brought about ....

These subordinate clauses of verb complementation are classified as occupying the direct object position.

4.1.9. Direct speech

Where speech is reported directly as part of a reporting clause, it is classified here separately as a nominal clause, usually in direct object position, because the main clause is incomplete without the direct speech. Problematic for this analysis was the fact that direct speech subordinate to a reporting verb may cover several sentences [4.1.9.1] and [4.1.9.2]. Grammatical subordination was taken as a guideline so that only the direct speech necessary for the grammaticality of the sentence (obligator<[4.1.9.1] After a hard night of drinking he will say: "I tell you, bwana, last night I swallowed so much that I could not tell my nose from my leg. As a matter of fact, I don't know how I got home. I just found myself in bed and the car parked outside. It must have driven itself home because the last thing I remember is dancing near the jukebox." [W2E-012-02112-119] [4.1.9.2] "I spent seven months... typing while seated on the commode. Everytime someone flushed the toilet in the adjoining restroom, my chair gurgled," wrote the employee, who nominated her boss as one of the year's worst. [W2E-010-0215-19]

In creative writing direct speech often stands on its own with or without inverted commas where there is no doubt as to the participants contributing, as in [4.1.9.3]. Frequently the specified speaker and a reporting verb follow the direct speech [4.1.9.4].

[4.1.9.3] "Doctor, the foetal heart rate is a hundred and sixteen."
"Is it? Bring the patient over immediately." [W2F-011-02193-195]
[4.1.9.4] "I think it has disappeared," she murmured.
"What has disappeared?" asked Dr Dave.
"The foetal heart beat," Sister Maingi groaned. [W2F-011-02118-120]

In some cases the reported clause may be comprised of a single word as in [4.1.9.5].
[4.1.9.5] I said why? [S1A-024-50]

The reported speech may be in apposition as in [4.1.9.6] but the difficulty of assessing where to draw the line is seen in [4.1.9.7], where the direct speech follows a full stop in a separate paragraph. In neither of these two sentences is the direct speech grammatically obligatory.
[4.1.9.6] I have heard a Kenyan say this: "I tell you that Kenyan is tough ..." [W2E-012-02123]
[4.1.9.7] In a rather sober speech, Mrs Margaret Githinji, the first and the only women Permanent Secretary, had this to say to an assembly of women.
"We all know that women have always occupied a central role in the African societies " [W2E-016-01132-133]

In other instances the noun and reporting verb can be seen as adverbial comment (cf. Section. 4.2.2.6) as in example [4.1.9.8].
[4.1.9.8] "In other words," the document continued "primary school leavers should be able to enter the world of work ... [W2E-006-0353-55]

A further problem of analysis must not be overlooked and that is the confusion which sometimes arises in oral texts. In [4.1.9.9] the speaker reports another woman's speech using the verb say followed by that but then goes on with the first person pronoun and direct speech.

[4.1.9.9] and she said that after I read this story She quoted the story ... Well she said after I read this story I gave it to my husband ... [S1A-027-153]

1Where an example is taken from texts other than the Kenyan subcorpus described above, a footnote gives information of its origin.
2In Section 5.2.2 the use of this phrase with the infinitive is discussed.
3This example is taken from the the Informational Popular category of the Corpus of Kenyan English.
4It is necessary, here, to point out that it is difficult to determine whether a to-infinitive clause as prepositional object introduced by how is a nominal relative or interrogative. CGEL suggests that the example [1] (cf. §15.8) is a nominal relative expressing "the way to use" whereas example [2] (cf. §15.5) expresses "how one/they should start the motor". The sentence [3] taken from the subcorpus could express both.
[1] The book is on how to use a computer
[2] You must explain to them how to start the motor
[3] ... there are evenings of frenzied drinking and plots on how to keep women in their supposed place
5The size of the subcorpus does not allow for a statistical analyis for variation of that and for as suggested in Mair (1990: 47) as the structures were too infrequent even in the written texts (350,000 words) of the Survey corpus he investigated. The tagged version of the completed Corpus of East African English will enable linguists to undertake a comparative analysis.
6These are listed as verbal complement verbs in Table 5.2.2.1, Section 5.2.2.
7CGEL suggests that the genitive is used in a more formal context with pronouns or nouns referring to persons (§15.12).
8Lamprecht (1989: 321-322) considers the use of the objective case with pronouns as subjects of -ing clauses ("half-gerunds") as typical of colloquial style.
9A discussion of criticism of this categorisation (cf. Mair 1990: 97) is beyond the scope of this study and not relevant to the issue at hand.

Top Contents