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Most of us know that sentences and clauses can be coordinated, and that subordinating clauses can modify nouns (see restrictive relative clauses), modify verbs (see adverbial clauses) and serve as complements for verbs (see complement clauses). Also note nominalizations such as the first big constituent in "Bill's looking for the dollar under the sofa frustrated his date, Charlene."

Over the last few years, I was surprised to find out that there is another way to build multi-clausal sentences, namely clause-chaining, in which a chain of medial clauses (whose verbs don't take all of the inflections that the main clause verbs do) precedes or follows the main clause.

Among natural languages, is there another way to form multi-clausal sentences besides the ones listed above?

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    If you were surprised, you can imagine we might be too. How about an example of clause-chaining? Or are you talking about serial verbs? – jlawler May 9 '13 at 14:33
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    Here's an article about clause chaining with multiple examples: pnglanguages.org/silewp/2010/silewp2010-001.pdf – James Grossmann May 10 '13 at 2:33
  • Thank you. That's what I would call serial verbs, but an extreme example. It sounds like there is a sophisticated narrative tradition at work. Look at Harry Potter books for sophisticated examples of chaining, mostly gerund clauses. It gives a vividness and sense of action to the story. – jlawler May 10 '13 at 2:56

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