The subdivision of this chapter is based exclusively on structural concepts. Semantic/functional concepts are only employed at the end of the mapping process, where structures are specified in such detail that they can be associated with specific functions. These functions must have been introduced in the onomasiological approach.

The following are the principal parameters relevant to a structural description of complex sentence formation:1

  1. structural relation between clauses
  2. reduction of clauses,
  3. fusion of clauses
  4. explicitness of linking

All of these parameters cross-classify. Topic #4 is at the lowest level systematically. For expository reasons, it may be convenient to anticipate it, since it introduces all the various kinds of conjunctions that appear in the constructions treated in the other sections.

Cooccurence restrictions between structural features of the two clauses – e.g. when the choice of a certain conjunction triggers a certain mood on the verb – are likewise dealt with in semasiological perspective.

1 Much of what follows is condensed from Lehmann 1988, which also contains many illustrative examples.