Is subordination viable? The case of Hebrew ʃɛ 'that'

Anna Inbar


In this paper, patterns of clause combining that include the particle ʃɛ (usually translated as ‘that’, ‘which’) in spontaneous Israeli Hebrew will be discussed. I will suggest a classification of the functions of this particle, which is considered as a subordination marker in Hebrew studies. After tracing the origin of the term subordination in grammar and reviewing some of its traditional and recent grammatical conceptions, I will outline some of the problematic issues in applying the notion of subordination to conversational data. The notion of subordinate clause will be re-examined in light of spoken corpus evidence, based on The Corpus of Spoken Israeli Hebrew (CoSIH). I will then show what can be learned from the phenomenon of clause combining about the processes of formation of syntactic structures from pragmatic ones. 


subordination, clause combining, spontaneous speech, Hebrew conversation

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CHIMERA Romance Corpora and Linguistic Studies

ISSN: 2386-2629