In this chapter I will discuss selected features which are not confined to the clausal level but have the ‘complex sentence’ or the ‘superordinate clause’ as their domain. 1 As a rule, the HE patterns of complex sentences correspond to those found in other dialects of English, but there are some which exhibit features possibly based on the model of Irish. One such feature is the use of so-called ‘resumptive pronouns’ in relative and also other types of clauses. These will be discussed in section 8.2. Another distinctive trait of HE grammar concerns sentence or clause connection: the predominant linking device is and, which besides the usual coordinate function can introduce subordinate structures. The latter will be the topic of section 8.3. Another pair of conjunctions which can be argued to have special functions (or at least more extensive uses) in HE consists of only and but, which will be examined in section 8.4.
Features which cannot be investigated within the bounds of this work include, first, the so-called ‘Narrative Infinitive’, examples of which are given in (1) and (2). The first example is taken from the HE corpus, while the second is from a nineteenth-century emigrant letter. This use of the infinitive has been attributed to the influence of Irish, which has the verbal noun in these kinds of contexts (for discussion, see, e.g. Joyce 1910/1988: 45-6; van Hamel 1912: 279; Henry 1957: 188-90; Bliss 1984a: 147-8). On the basis of my data at least, the Narrative Infinitive is relatively infrequent in present-day dialects and is probably a recessive feature.
(1) If you, if you was there now, you had a son, = an’ your daughter would have gone away, = you know, you’d to be a good thing, he to get a wife, like, to = run the house with him, you see. (Clare: J. N. )
(2) I was very sorry to hear of you to let your old chapel to be chifted [i.e. shifted] to (Ballydafeen). O poor Derry [the townland of Caheraderry in Co. Clare] is gone and to let them crow over yea. (The Normile Letters, No. 12, 1862; quoted from Fitzpatrick 1994: 90)