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    #1

    Subordinate clause, or not?

    My second problem phrase from my analysis of a child with a language disorder.

    "And seen a cow said moo."

    As with the first problem, the grammar is analysed despite of the error.

    My problem is whether to treat the sentence as two clauses coordinated with each other, that is: 'And saw a cow and the cow said, "moo".'

    Does this sound like the most plausible way to treat this sentence? If so, is 'moo' the object of 'said', or is there a special subject element for direct speech?

    Thank you

    EDIT - The title of the thread is mean to be 'Coordinating clause, or not?', sorry.
    Last edited by Linguist__; 19-Mar-2010 at 10:18. Reason: Added part in red

  1. MASM's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Subordinate clause, or not?

    [QUOTE=Linguist__;579907]My second problem phrase from my analysis of a child with a language disorder.

    "And seen a cow said moo."

    As with the first problem, the grammar is analysed despite of the error.

    My problem is whether to treat the sentence as two clauses coordinated with each other, that is: 'And saw a cow and the cow said, "moo".'

    Does this sound like the most plausible way to treat this sentence? If so, is 'moo' the object of 'said', or is there a special subject element for direct speech?

    Thank you

    Is "and seen a cow said moo" the original sentence? Because if is like that it can have two interpretation, that someone saw a cow and said moo and that someone saw a cow saying moo (which on the other hand, is it correct to say that a cow said something?, just asking).

    I'm not really sure of what you've been asked to do what that of that sentence or whether you can change it in the analysis, but to me "and saw a cow and the cow said "moo" " is less ambiguous and I'd treat "moo" as a direct object. I don't know if that was really your question.. but I hope it helps anyway..

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    #3

    Re: Subordinate clause, or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    My second problem phrase from my analysis of a child with a language disorder.

    "And seen a cow said moo."

    As with the first problem, the grammar is analysed despite of the error.

    My problem is whether to treat the sentence as two clauses coordinated with each other, that is: 'And saw a cow and the cow said, "moo".'

    Does this sound like the most plausible way to treat this sentence? If so, is 'moo' the object of 'said', or is there a special subject element for direct speech?

    Thank you

    EDIT - The title of the thread is mean to be 'Coordinating clause, or not?', sorry.
    What about "(I) saw a cow say moo"? Obviously one can't "see" a cow say anything, one "hears" it, but if the child has a language disorder it seems possible that that is what he wanted to say.

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    #4

    Re: Subordinate clause, or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    What about "(I) saw a cow say moo"? Obviously one can't "see" a cow say anything
    The referent of 'I' read the cow's lips.

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    #5

    Re: Subordinate clause, or not?

    I saw [a cow (to) say moo] -- I saw that phenomenon. Subordinate.

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    #6

    Re: Subordinate clause, or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    My second problem phrase from my analysis of a child with a language disorder.

    "And seen a cow said moo."

    As with the first problem, the grammar is analysed despite of the error.

    My problem is whether to treat the sentence as two clauses coordinated with each other, that is: 'And saw a cow and the cow said, "moo".'

    Does this sound like the most plausible way to treat this sentence? If so, is 'moo' the object of 'said', or is there a special subject element for direct speech?

    Thank you

    EDIT - The title of the thread is mean to be 'Coordinating clause, or not?', sorry.
    Is it really valid to analyse children's speech production using adult grammar?
    Surely you'd have to know whether the child meant:
    I saw a cow that said moo. or
    I saw a cow and it said moo. or
    I saw a cow. The cow said moo. or
    Something else.

    Does the child give other evidence of being able to use subordinate clauses? Has the child reached an age where subordinate clauses are normally used?
    You could diagnose this as being "an inability to use appropriate relative pronouns". But you'd be wrong if it reflected an inability to use coordinators or to separate sentences.


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    #7

    Re: Subordinate clause, or not?

    I'll give some context to the speech sample to help clarify it. The child is undertaking 'The Bus Story' test, in which the speech therapist narrates a story to a child about a naughty bus that drives off from it's driver, and ends up getting stuck in mud and needs to be rescued. Pictures are used to guide the narrative. Then, the child tells the story back to the therapist using the pictures as a guide.

    The child's sentence is fine in context. I think the original narrative of the section that the child is retelling is

    'The bus ran into a field where he saw a cow. Then, the bus jumped over a fence out of the field and the cow said, "moo, I can't believe my eyes."
    So, I assume the child is trying to say: "And he (the bus) saw a cow and it (the cow) said, "moo".

    I think the best thing to do would be to consider these as two seperate utterances - 'And he saw a cow. And it said, "moo".' Would you agree?

    My main question was, in the sentence. 'And he saw a cow and it said, "moo"', is 'and it said...' a coordinating clause, and if so, is 'moo' the object of 'said'. MASM sort of answered this, but wasn't sure about the context, so maybe this post helps that.

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    #8

    Re: Subordinate clause, or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    I'll give some context to the speech sample to help clarify it. The child is undertaking 'The Bus Story' test, in which the speech therapist narrates a story to a child about a naughty bus that drives off from it's driver, and ends up getting stuck in mud and needs to be rescued. Pictures are used to guide the narrative. Then, the child tells the story back to the therapist using the pictures as a guide.

    The child's sentence is fine in context. I think the original narrative of the section that the child is retelling is

    So, I assume the child is trying to say: "And he (the bus) saw a cow and it (the cow) said, "moo".

    I think the best thing to do would be to consider these as two seperate utterances - 'And he saw a cow. And it said, "moo".' Would you agree?

    My main question was, in the sentence. 'And he saw a cow and it said, "moo"', is 'and it said...' a coordinating clause, and if so, is 'moo' the object of 'said'. MASM sort of answered this, but wasn't sure about the context, so maybe this post helps that.
    I wasn't sure if you needed to analyse the original sentence or not. "And seen a cow said moo." I also assume that the child was trying to say that he saw a cow that was saying moo. If you analyse "And seen a cow said moo." a cow said moo" is a direct object of "seen".

    Your other sentence 'And he saw a cow. And it said, "moo". is definitely a coordinating clause being "a cow" direct object and "moo" another direct object of "saw" and "said" respectively. I don't know if I have explained mysef very well . xxx


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    #9

    Re: Subordinate clause, or not?

    Thanks all, I think I've got it.

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    #10

    Re: Subordinate clause, or not?

    I have a question after reading all this.
    Would you find this sentence acceptable:
    I saw that a cow said moo.

    The literal Polish translation is perfectly correct in Polish (especially when the 'saw' is stressed). I am not sure if I ever saw 'see that' in English, but now I'm not sure either why it should be incorrect.

    If it's correct I think it could be closest to what the child had it mind. He/she could have just omitted the 'that'.

    PS: OK, after thinking a little bit I'm sure it's correct But I still can be wrong

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