Contact clause

From Glottopedia
Revision as of 20:54, 26 June 2007 by Haspelmath (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In English linguistics, the term contact clause is sometimes used (following Jespersen 1933) for a relative clause with no relativizer.


  • Do you remember the road [I'm talking about]?
  • All [you can do] is wait.


The term was coined by Jespersen (1933:360).

      • "Relative clauses without any connecting word are here called contact clauses, because what characterizes them is the close contact in sound and sense between the clause and what precedes it: in sentences like "this is the boy we spoke of", and "he falls in love with all the girls he sees", the words "the boy" and "all the girls" are felt to be just as intimately connected with what follows as what precedes them." (Jespersen 1933:360)


  • Jespersen, Otto. 1933. Essentials of English grammar. London:Allen & Unwin.

Other languages