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I've find Peters' discussion of Halliday's treatment Non-embedded relative clauses
somewhat confusing. Once again the metalanguage is strange, but setting that aside I also have a problem with the analysis. Seems to me that Peters describes semantic-functional distinctions
that are difficult to detect. The example from 1Cor. 1:30 (qouted below) makes a certain amount sense but the others he offers are less convincing.
Within a given discourse, the clauses that make up the discourse enter into various relationships with one another. At the most basic level, a clause is either primary or secondary. Relative clauses are secondary in function, in that they are a continuation of a primary clause and are thus dependent. 1 Relative clauses may be both embedded and non-embedded. As an embedded element, the function of the relative clause will be either that of a modifier/qualifier of the head of the group or it may function as the actual head of the group. 2 Non-embedded relative clauses do not function as qualifiers but typically add "further characterization of something that is taken to be already fully specific."3
3. Non-defining Relative Clauses
. According to Halliday, a non-defining relative clause "functions as a kind of descriptive gloss to the main clause."33 He continues:
These clauses are not embedded but stand in hypotactic relation
As far as the meaning is concerned, the clauses do not define subsets, in the way that a defining relative clause does... A non-defining relative clause... adds a further characterization of something that is taken to be already fully specific.34
, which Halliday defines thus: Degree of interdependency is known technically as taxis; and the two different degrees of interdependency as parataxis (equal status) and hypotaxis (unequal status). Hypotaxis is the relation between
To someone who is not a follower of SFL, the highlighted in red text sounds like a contradiction.
1Cor. 1:30 ἐξ αὐτοῦ δὲ ὑμεῖς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, ὃς ἐγενήθη σοφία ἡμῖν ἀπὸ θεοῦ, δικαιοσύνη τε καὶ ἁγιασμὸς καὶ ἀπολύτρωσις,
Christ Jesus is fully specific. He does not need to be further defined by being located within a subset of a general class. The descriptive gloss provided by the relative clause ties Christ Jesus to the larger discourse of the first part of the letter, in which Paul challenges the Corinthians' pretensions of wisdom and knowledge. Jesus is the one who became wisdom to us from God.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
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