Students understanding the complexity of language

Chapter 05-07: Clauses I – Clause Type IV


chapter 5: clause type iv

Type IV clauses are quite similar to Type III structures, except rather than an adjectival subject complement (function slot), there is a nominal subject complement (function slot). It fulfills a similar role as the subject complement in a Type III clause; however, in this case, it is always a nominal or something that is functioning nominally. Furthermore, the nominal subject complement has the same referent as the subject.
Review the following examples:
  1. The engagement was a disaster.
  2. The battle was to end in severe loss.
  3. The outcome seemed a tragedy.
In sentences (1) through (3), the linking verb is followed by a  nominal, which serves to rename the subject. In sentences (1) and (3),  the subjects (the engagement and the outcome) refer to the same events as their complements (a disaster and a tragedy). The same is true for sentence (2), although an infinitive phrase fills the complement slot, functioning nominally to rename the battle.
In analyzing for Type IV clauses, a BE/linking verb and a nominal in the function slot that serves as the subject complement must be present.
Overall, as described by the Clause Types analytical strategy, the KEY MARKERS  for Clause Types II-IV are the presence of a BE Main Verb (as linking  verb) with the different required subject complements in the predicate.
It is important to remember that our language is complex and clauses can fill any of the function slots as easily as words or phrases. In other words, most all elements will be operating (functioning) on a variety of levels. Seeing and understanding this depth is an important consideration when analyzing in context.