It might not provide such direct information about the time, but it provides information about my activities, so I don't think that the relationship can be said to be entirely one-way; the two parts are inter-dependent to create a meaning. Also the tense + aspect (past + incomplete) does provide some relevant temporal information beyond the dictionary definition of the verb.2. However, "I was cooking" clause does not provide information of time to "the phone rang". Therefore, "when" is definitely subordinator because
when-clause acts as adverbial clause to the main clause, and thus adds information to the main clause, but the main clause does not provide any information back to the subordinating clause.
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