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3.3.2.3.3.Non-restrictive relative clauses
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The examples in (321) show that the antecedent of a non-restrictive relative clause can fulfill a variety of syntactic functions in the clause: subject, (in)direct object, PP-complement and adverbial phrase.

321
a. Mijn broer, [RC die goed piano speelt], heeft een prijs gewonnen.
  my brother  who well piano plays  has  a prize  won
  'My brother, who plays the piano well, has won a prize.'
b. Zij feliciteerde mijn broer, [RC die goed piano speelt], met zijn prijs.
  she  congratulated  my brother  who plays the piano well  with his prize
c. Ze hebben mijn broer, [RC die goed piano speelt], de prijs toegekend.
  they  have  my brother  who well piano plays  the prize  prt.-awarded
  'They have awarded my brother, who plays the piano well, the prize.'
d. Ik heb naar mijn broer geluisterd, [RC die goed piano speelt].
  have  to my brother  listened  who well piano plays
e. Ik ga naar een concert met mijn broer, [RC die goed piano speelt].
  go  to a concert been  with my brother  who well piano plays

Noun phrases modified by a non-restrictive relative clause can furthermore be used as complement or modifier within another noun phrase. This is illustrated in (322).

322
a. Mijn bewondering voor mijn broer, [RC die goed piano speelt] is groot.
  my admiration  for my brother  who well piano plays is great
b. De muziek van mijn broer, [RC die goed piano speelt], is erg mooi.
  the music  of my brother  who well piano plays  is very beautiful

The only thing that is not readily possible is modification of a predicatively used noun phrase. This is not surprising, of course, given that non-restrictive relative clauses serve to provide more information about the referent set of the noun phrase. Since predicates do not refer, it follows immediately from this that a predicatively used noun phrase cannot be modified by a non-restrictive relative clause. This is illustrated in (323); a non-restrictive clause can only be used to provide additional information about the intended pianist if it is added to the subject of the construction, as in (323a); adding the relative clause to the nominal predicate, as in (323b), gives rise to an uninterpretable result. It should be noted, however, that this restriction does not hold if the relative clause is introduced by the predicative relative pronoun wat, which can take several types of predicates as its antecedent; cf. Section 3.3.2.2, sub IC5.

323
a. Jani, [RC diei hier vaak speelt], is [Pred de beste pianist van Nederland].
  Jan who  here  often  plays is  the best pianist of the.Netherlands
  'Jan, who often plays here, is the best pianist of the Netherlands.'
a'. * Jan is [Pred de beste pianist van Nederland]i, [RC diei hier vaak speelt].
  Jan is  the best pianist of the.Netherlands  who  here  often  plays
b. Jan is een goede pianist/briljant [RC wat ik niet ben].
  Jan is a good pianist/brilliant  which  not  am

This issue will be discussed more extensively in Subsection I, which will discuss the meaning contribution of non-restrictive relative clauses. This is followed in Subsections II and III by discussions of the different types of non-restrictive relative clause, and the position of non-restrictive relative clauses and their antecedent in the clause.

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[+]  I.  The function of non-restrictive relative clauses

A non-restrictive relative clause serves to provide additional information about its antecedent, which means that the information provided in the relative clause is not required for the proper identification of the referent set of the antecedent; if the relative clauses in (321) and (322) above are left out, the result is less informative but grammatical and felicitous as the hearer can still be assumed to be able to identify the person the speaker is referring to (but see Section 3.3.2.3.3, sub II). Although non-restrictive relative clauses have this function of providing additional information regardless of the form of their antecedent, it has different implications for relative clauses with definite antecedents and those with indefinite antecedents. In what follows, these two types of relative clauses will therefore be treated in separate subsections. A third subsection is added that discusses non-restrictive clauses that take an antecedent with a predicative function in the clause.

[+]  A.  Non-restrictive relative clauses with definite antecedents

As a logical result of their non-restrictive function, non-restrictive relative clauses can easily be used in combination with antecedents with unique referents. Since these referents can be assumed to be identifiable, the relative clauses need not, and typically cannot, contain identifying information. This is illustrated in (324) for an antecedent in the form of a proper noun, a noun with unique reference, and antecedents containing a demonstrative and possessive determiner.

324
a. Rembrandt, [RC die leefde van 1606 tot 1669], is een groot schilder.
  Rembrandt  who lived from 1606 to 1669  is a great painter
  'Rembrandt, who lived from 1606 to 1669, is a great painter.'
b. De zon, [RC die hoog aan de hemel stond], gaf veel warmte.
  the sun  which high in the sky stood  gave  much  warmth
  'The sun, which was high in the sky, gave a lot of heat.'
c. Ik heb dit schilderij, [RC dat erg duur was], op een veiling gekocht.
  I have this painting  which  very expensive  was  at an auction  bought
  'I bought this painting, which was very expensive, at an auction.'
d. Mijn echtgenoot, [RC die tolk is], spreekt zes talen.
  my husband,  who  interpreter  is,  speaks  six languages
  'My husband, who is an interpreter, speaks six languages.'

      Non-restrictive relative clauses can also be used to modify personal pronouns, provided that they have the full, non-reduced form. If the antecedent and the relative pronoun have the same syntactic function in the matrix and the relative clause, such constructions are perfectly acceptable. This is illustrated in (325) for cases in which both the antecedent and the relative pronoun function as subjects; observe that the finite verb of the relative clause agrees in number with the antecedent pronoun.

325
a. Hij, [RC die daar zo mooi piano speelt3p.sg], is mijn broer.
  he  who  there  so beautifully  piano  plays  is my brother
  'He, who is playing the piano so beautifully, is my brother.'
b. Ik, [RC die altijd voor je heb1p.sg klaar gestaan], heb dit niet verdiend.
  who  always  for you  have  ready  stood  have this not deserved
  'I, who was always ready to help you, havenʼt deserved this.'
c. Zelfs jij, [RC die zoveel hebt2p.sg meegemaakt], hebt dit nooit gezien.
  even you  who  so much  has  experienced  has  this  never  seen
  'Even you, who has seen so much, has never seen such a thing.'
d. Jullie, [RC die al een geldig kaartje hebbenpl], mogen nu binnen.
  you  who  already  a valid ticket  have  may  now  inside
  'You, who already have a valid ticket, may enter immediately.'

In (326) the same thing is shown for object pronouns: the pronouns haar'her' and ons'us' function as direct objects in the matrix clauses, with the relative pronoun die fulfilling the same function in the relative clauses, and the result is fully acceptable.

326
a. Ik had haar, [RC die ik altijd gemogen heb], graag geholpen.
  had  her  who  always  liked  have  gladly  helped
  'I would gladly have helped her, whom Iʼve always liked.'
b. Hij had ons, [RC die hij nog nooit gezien had], direct herkend.
  he  had  us  who  he  yet never  seen  had  directly  recognized
  'He had immediately recognized us, whom he had never seen before.'

      If the antecedent and the relative pronoun do not have the same syntactic function, the results are generally marked. The examples in (327) show this for cases in which the personal pronoun functions as a direct/indirect object of the matrix clause or the complement of a preposition, whereas the relative pronoun is the subject of the relative clause. In (327a&b), some speakers allow and even prefer the third singular form heeft to the first singular form heb.

327
a. Hij heeft mij, [RC die hem toch zo geholpen ?heb1p.sg/%heeft3p.sg], nooit bedankt.
  he has  me  who  him  prt  so  helped  have/has  never  thanked
  'He has never thanked me, who helped him so much.'
b. Hij heeft mij, [RC die er speciaal om gevraagd ?heb1p.sg/%heeft3p.sg], een gesigneerd exemplaar gegeven.
  he  has  me  who  there  especially  for  asked  have/has a signed copy  given
  'He has given me, who especially asked for it, a signed copy.'
c. ? Hij heeft voor ons, [RC die zo hard gewerkt hebben], niets teruggedaan.
  he has  for us  who  so hard worked have  nothing  prt.-done
  'He has done nothing in return for us, who worked so hard.'

The examples in (328) show the same thing for cases in which the personal pronoun acts as the subject of the matrix clause and the relative pronoun as the direct or indirect object of the relative clause.

328
a. ? Ik vind dat ik, [RC die ze ontslagen hebben], recht heb op een verklaring.
  find  that  who they fired have  right have  to an explanation
  'I think that I, who they have fired, have the right to an explanation.'
b. ? Ik vind dat ik, [RC die hij dat boek gestuurd heeft], hem moet bedanken.
  find  that  who  he  that book  sent  has him  must  thank
  'I think that I, who he has sent the book to, must thank him.'

      The marked examples in (327) and (328) all involve cases in which the personal pronoun functions as a subject and the relative pronoun as an object, or vice versa. If they function respectively as a direct and an indirect object, the constructions are fully acceptable. Examples can be found in (329).

329
a. Ze hadden onsIO, [RC dieDO ze ontslagen hebben], een brief gestuurd.
  they  had  us  who  they  fired  have  a letter  sent
  'They had sent us, who they fired, a letter.'
b. Hij zal jouDO, [RC (aan) wieIO hij veel te danken heeft], graag helpen.
  he  has  you  to whom  he  much  to thank  has  gladly  help
  'He would be glad to help you, (to) who(m) he owes a great deal.'

      The data involving personal pronoun antecedents suggest that the personal pronoun can act as the antecedent of a relative pronoun with a different syntactic function as long as the personal pronoun has the morphological form that “matches” the syntactic function of the relative pronoun: if this is not the case, a marked result arises. This would account for the fact that the examples in (330) are fully acceptable despite the fact that the plural pronoun jullie'you' acts as the subject in the main clause whereas the relative pronoun acts respectively as a direct object, an indirect object and the complement of a preposition. This could be attributed to the fact that the form jullie can be used in all these functions. We will return to pronouns modified by a non-restrictive relative clause in Subsection IIID.

330
a. Jullie, [RC die ik zo veel geholpen heb], hebben duidelijk gefaald.
  you  who  so much  helped  have  have  clearly  failed
  'You, who I have helped so much, have clearly failed.'
b. Jullie, [RC die ik zo veel hulp gegeven heb], hebben duidelijk gefaald.
  you  who  so much help  given have  have  clearly  failed
  'You, who I have helped so much, have clearly failed.'
c. Jullie [RC op wie ik zo vertrouwde] hebben duidelijk gefaald.
  you  on whom  so  relied  have  clearly  failed
[+]  B.  Non-restrictive relative clauses with indefinite antecedents

The examples in (331) show that non-restrictive relative clauses can also have an indefinite antecedent, that is, an antecedent the referent of which is assumed not to be identifiable for the hearer. The relative clauses do not function to restrict the set of possible referents, but simply provide extra information about the referent of the antecedent.

331
a. Een student, [RC die mijn colleges volgt], heeft een boek van me geleend.
  a student  who my classes follows  has  a book  of me  borrowed
  'A student, who attends my classes, borrowed a book from me.'
b. Ik heb een boek geleend aan wat studenten, [RC die mijn college volgen].
  I have  a book  lent  to some students  who  my classes  follow
  'Iʼve lent a book to some students, all of whom attend my classes.'

In (331), the antecedent is interpreted specifically; the identity of the intended referent(s) is known to the speaker but not to the hearer. Indefinite antecedents of non-restrictive relative clauses can also be generic, as in (332), in which case the relative clause will be interpreted as providing generic information; both in the case of a plural and in the case of a singular antecedent, the information given in the relative clause must be taken to apply to the entire class of entities denoted by the antecedent, that is, to all students.

332
a. Studenten, [RC die meestal weinig geld hebben], hebben vaak een baantje.
  students  who  usually  little money  have  have  often  a jobdim
  'Students, who usually have little money, often have a part-time job.'
b. Een student, [RC die vaak weinig geld heeft], heeft meestal een baantje.
  a student  who  often  little money  has  has  mostly  a jobdim
  'A student, who mostly has little money, usually has a part-time job.'

It is less clear whether non-restrictive relative clauses can be used to modify nonspecific indefinite antecedents, that is, to noun phrases referring to entities that are not familiar to the speaker. Example (333a) is fully acceptable, but it is not immediately clear whether we should construe the modified noun phrase as nonspecific or as generic; cf. Section 5.1.1.5, sub IC2. The most prominent reading of example (333b) is one in which the noun phrase is construed specifically, that is, as known to the speaker; the nonspecific interpretation of the noun phrase seems to give rise to a marked result and to favor an appositional reading of the relative clause. Although judgments are somewhat subtle, we conclude from this that it is impossible to modify nonspecific indefinite noun phrases by means of a non-restrictive relative clause, which could be attributed to the fact that speakers cannot provide additional information about entities not familiar to them.

333
a. Ik verhuur kamers aan studenten, [RC die geen flat kunnen betalen].
  rent  rooms  to students  who  no flat  can  pay
  'I only rent rooms to students, who canʼt afford a flat.'
b. # Ik wil deze kamer aan een student verhuren, [RC die geen flat kan betalen].
  I want this room  to a student  rent  who  no flat  can pay
  'I rent this room to a student, who canʼt afford a flat.'
[+]  C.  Non-restrictive relative clauses with predicative antecedents

Non-restrictive relative clauses can be used to modify nominal predicates provided that the relative pronoun functions as the predicate of the relative clause. The examples in (334) show that in cases like these, the relative pronoun invariably has the form wat.

334
a. Jan is een dwaas, [RC wat/*die ik niet ben].
  Jan is a fool  which/that  not  am
  'Jan is a fool, which Iʼm not.'
b. Els is een genie, [RC wat/*dat Peter bepaald niet is].
  Els is a genius  which/that  Peter  distinctly  not  is
  'Els is a genius, which Peter is certainly not.'
c. Jan en Els zijn voetbalfans, [RC wat/*die ik niet ben].
  Jan and Els  are  soccer fans  which/that  not  am
  'Jan and Els are soccer fans, which Iʼm not.'

      If the relative pronoun functions as an argument in a non-restrictive relative clause, it is sometimes difficult to establish what the antecedent of the relative clause is. Example (335a), for example, can easily be misanalyzed as a case involving a non-restrictive relative clause modifying the predicate een dwaas'a fool'. The correct analysis is the one in which the relative clause provides some specific information about the noun phrase die man'that man', which means that the relation of the relative clause to the nominal predicate is more indirect: the fact that the man always does as he is told is the reason why he is considered a fool. This use of the relative clause is characterized by the fact that primary accent is assigned to the relative clause, which provides new information about the antecedent. That the relative clause does not modify the predicate in examples like these is clear from the fact illustrated in (335b) that the pronoun die is replaced by its neuter counterpart dat if the non-neuter subject die man is replaced by the neuter noun phrase het meisje'the girl'. From this we may safely conclude that we are dealing with a relative clause in extraposed position that takes the subject of the clause as its antecedent, which is also supported by the fact that the primed examples are also acceptable.

335
a. Die man is een dwaas, [RC die altijd doet wat hem gezegd wordt].
  that man  is a fool  who  always  does  what  him  said  is
  'That man is a fool, who always does as he is told.'
a'. Die man , [RC die altijd doet wat hem gezegd wordt], is een dwaas.
b. Dat meisje is een dwaas, [RC dat altijd doet wat haar gezegd wordt].
  that man  is a fool  who  always  does  what  her  said  is
b'. Dat meisje, [RC dat altijd doet wat haar gezegd wordt], is een dwaas.

Essentially the same thing is shown in (336), where the nominal predicate is the neuter noun genie'genius'. Again, the form of the relative pronoun is sensitive to the gender of the subject of the clause, not to that of the predicate.

336
a. Dat meisje is een genie, [RC dat voortdurend miskend wordt].
  that girl is a genius  who  continuously  underestimated  is
  'That girl is a genius, who is continuously underestimated.'
a'. Dat meisje, [RC dat voortdurend miskend wordt], is een genie.
b. Die man is een genie, [RC die voortdurend miskend wordt].
  that man is a genius  who  continuously  underestimated  is
b'. Die man, [RC die voortdurend miskend wordt], is een genie.

A complicating factor with the examples in (335) and (336), which we ignored in the discussion above, is that it is not entirely clear whether we are really dealing with non-restrictive relative clauses: Subsection IIIA, will show that it is normally impossible to extrapose such clauses from subjects in clause-initial position, which means that we may actually be dealing with appositions. However, this does not affect the conclusion that we may draw from the data discussed so far, namely that a nominal predicate cannot be the antecedent of a non-restrictive relative clause if the relative pronoun functions as an argument.
      A potential problem for such a claim is presented by the somewhat marked examples in (337). In these examples, the relative clause is generic in the sense that it provides information about the whole class of fools/genial people: this use of the modifying clause is characterized by placing primary accent on the (adverbial) element expressing the generic nature of the relative clause. The fact that the relative clause provides information about the class denoted by the predicate makes it plausible to assume that it is not the subject but the predicate that functions as the antecedent of the relative clause.

337
a. ? Jan is een dwaas, [RC die immers altijd doen wat ze gezegd wordt].
  Jan is a fool  who  after.all  always  do  what  them  said  is
  'Jan is a fool, who, as we know, always do as theyʼre told.'
b. ? Marie is een genie, [RC die per definitie miskend worden].
  Marie is a genius  which  by definition  underestimated  are
  'Marie is a genius, which by definition are not appreciated.'

It should be noted, however, that the relative pronoun does not agree in number with the nominal predicate: the predicate is singular, whereas the relative pronoun, which functions as the subject of the relative clause, triggers plural agreement on the finite verb. Note further that full agreement between the relative pronoun and the neuter nominal predicate een genie in (337b), would require that the former have the form dat (and not the plural form die). This lack of number and gender agreement suggests that we are not dealing with a relative construction in (337) at all, but with a construction of some other type. In this connection, it may be useful to refer to the sequences in (338), in which the anaphoric plural pronoun in the second sentence also refers to all the members of the class referred to by the singular generic subjects of the first sentence.

338
a. Een genie wordt zelden tijdens zijn leven erkend. Ze zijn daarom vaak ongelukkig.
  a genius  is  seldom  during his life  recognized.  They  are therefore  often  unhappy.
  'A genius is rarely appreciated during his life. Thatʼs why theyʼre often unhappy.'
b. Een kat is een ideaal huisdier. Ze geven nauwelijks rommel.
  a cat  is an ideal pet.  They  give  hardly  mess
  'A cat is an ideal pet. They hardly give any mess.'

      From the discussion in this subsection, we conclude that non-restrictive relative clauses can only be used if the relative pronoun also functions as a predicate, in which case the pronoun must have the form wat.

[+]  II.  Different types of non-restrictive relative clauses

Non-restrictive relative clauses typically provide additional, non-identifying information about the referent(s) of their antecedent, and can therefore normally be left out without affecting the grammaticality or felicity of the construction, and with the addressee not being aware of any information left out. In this use, the non-restrictive relative clauses have a typical “by-the-way” function, and come very close to appositional constructions; cf. Section 3.1.3. The examples in (339) show that this purely additive nature of the information in the relative clause can be made explicit by adding the adverb overigens'by the way', which is unacceptable in the restrictive relative clauses in the primed examples.

339
a. De auto, [RC die (overigens) van een Japans merk was], was erg duur.
  the car  which  by.the.way  of a Japanese brand was  was very expensive
  'The car, which, by the way, was of a Japanese brand, was very expensive.'
a'. De auto [RC die (*overigens) van een Japans merk was], was erg duur.
b. Mijn broer, [RC die (overigens) in Utrecht woont], komt vanavond ook.
  my brother  who  by.the.way  in Utrecht lives  comes  tonight  also
  'My brother, who, by the way, lives in Utrecht now, is also coming tonight.'
b'. Mijn broer [RC die (*overigens) in Utrecht woont], komt vanavond ook.

In some cases, however, the communicative function of the non-restrictive relative clause goes beyond this “by-the-way” function. The following subsections will discuss special uses of non-restrictive relative clauses, where the additional information provided in the clause plays an important part in (situating the modified noun phrase in) the larger context. In addition, we will pay some attention to cleft-sentences, which resemble non-restrictive relative clauses in several respects.

[+]  A.  Modifying the antecedent and the matrix clause

The additional information provided by the non-restrictive relative clause is not always restricted to the referent of the antecedent; often, the relative clause entertains an implicit adverbial-like relationship with the matrix clause. In example (340a), for instance, the relative clause can be construed as the reason for the immediate buying of the book. Likewise, the relative clauses in (340b-d) are all likely to be given a similar adverbial-like interpretation, expressing cause in (340b), concessive contrast in (340c), and a temporal relation in (340d).

340
a. Ik heb het boek, [RC dat erg mooi was], direct gekocht.
  have  the book  that  very beautiful  was  immediately  bought
  'Iʼve bought the book, which was very beautiful, immediately.'
b. De man, [RC die een ongeluk heeft gehad], ligt nog steeds in coma.
  the man  who  an accident  has  had  is  still  in coma
  'The man, who had had an accident, is still in a coma.'
c. Ik heb het boek, [RC dat erg duur was], toch maar gekocht.
  have  the book  which  very expensive  was  after.all  prt  bought
  'Iʼve bought the book, which was very expensive, after all.'
d. De man, [RC die maandag arriveerde], vertrok de volgende dag weer.
  the man  who  Monday  arrived  left  the next day  again
  'The man, who arrived on Monday, left the next day.'

In examples like these, the non-restrictive relative clause is needed for a proper interpretation of other elements in the matrix clause; for instance, the adverbs nog steeds'still' in (340b) and the modal particle toch'after all' in (340c) can only be interpreted on the basis of the information given in the relative clause; similarly, the proper interpretation of the adverbial phrases weer'again' and de volgende dag'the next day' in (340d) depend on information given in the relative clause. Leaving out the relative clauses in these cases yields a grammatical but infelicitous result (unless the context provides the relevant information).

[+]  B.  Continuative relative clauses: discourse relevancy

Non-restrictive relative clauses are normally used to present additional or background information about the antecedent, as in (339), or about the antecedent and the event described in the matrix clause, as in (340). In either case the role of the relative clause is restricted to the sentence, and does not play a crucial role in the development of the discourse (conversation, story, arguments etc.). In some cases, however, non-restrictive relative clauses in sentence-final position may have, in terms of importance as well as discourse continuity, almost the status of a matrix clause. Such non-restrictive relative clauses are often called “continuative” or “consecutive”. Although from a purely syntactic point of view such relative clauses can be left out, omission of the relative clause would lead to an information gap, and therefore an incoherent discourse. First, consider the example in (341), in which the information provided by the relative clause is clearly background information, as shown by the fact that adding the modifier overigens'by the way' is perfectly acceptable.

341
De zoon van het slachtoffer, [RC die (overigens) volhield onschuldig te zijn], werd gisteren door de politie gearresteerd. De arrestatie vond plaats ...
  the son of the victim  who  by.the.way  insisted  innocent  to be  was  yesterday  by the police  arrested  the arrest  took place
'The son of the victim, who (by the way) maintained his innocence, was yesterday arrested by the police. The arrest took place ...'

In (342a), on the other hand, the relative clause forms a crucial link in the discourse chain. As such the use of overigens is infelicitous, while a modifier like vervolgens'subsequently', which serves to enhance discourse coherence, is perfectly acceptable. The sequence in (342a) comes, therefore, very close to the sequence in (342b), where the same information is provided in a matrix clause.

342
a. De politie heeft gisteren de zoon van het slachtoffer gearresteerd, [RC die vervolgens/*?overigens hulp inriep van een advocaat]. Deze advocaat ...
  the police  has  yesterday  the son of the victim  arrested  who subsequently/by.the.way  help  called  of a lawyer  this lawyer
  'Yesterday, the police arrested the son of the victim, who subsequently enlisted the immediate help of a well-known lawyer. This lawyer ...'
b. De politie heeft gisteren de zoon van het slachtoffer gearresteerd. Deze riep direct de hulp in van een advocaat. Deze advocaat ...
  the police  has  yesterday  the son of the victim  arrested.  the latter  called  directly  the help  prt.  of a lawyer  this lawyer
  'Yesterday, the police arrested the son of the victim. The latter enlisted the immediate help of a well-known lawyer. This lawyer ...'
[+]  C.  Cleft constructions

This subsection briefly mentions some of the properties of the cleft construction, as this construction contains a phrase closely resembling a relative clause. Despite the fact that there is no intonation break between the antecedent and the modifying clause, we will nevertheless analyze this modifying clause as non-restrictive, as it does not restrict the (possibly singleton) referent set of the antecedent, but modifies this antecedent as a whole. Such an analysis is supported by the fact that under all circumstances the antecedent can take the form of a proper noun or a uniquely referring expression (Smits 1989: 203).
      As can be seen from the examples in (343), cleft constructions characteristically contain the copular verb zijn and the impersonal pronoun het'it'. The modifying clause seems to contain a relative pronoun, which takes the non-pronominal phrase (which need not be a DP) as its antecedent. The function of the cleft construction as a whole is to emphasize the referent set of the antecedent, which is always given focal/contrastive accent.

343
a. Het zijn de Amerikanen [die dit voor het eerst ontdekt hebben].
  it  are  the Americans  who  this  for the first  discovered  have
  'It is the Americans who first discovered this.'
b. Het was Jan [van wie ik het goede nieuws heb vernomen].
  it  was Jan   of who  the good news  have  heard
  'It was Jan from whom I heard the good news.'
c. Het is de president [die dit soort beslissingen dient te nemen].
  it  is the president  who  this sort [of] decisions  ought  to take
  'It is the president who ought to make this kind of decisions.'

The relative clause fulfills the crucial function of linking this antecedent to the ongoing discourse by supplying additional information. The relative clause in (343a), for example, clearly does not function to restrict the set of all Americans, but instead provides further information about this set as a whole. This additional information links the antecedent to the previous discourse, which is clear from the fact that the relative clause contains the deictic demonstrative pronoun dit'this', which can only be interpreted by appealing to information from the preceding context. When we abstract away from the contrastive function of the cleft construction, (343a) provides more or less the same information as the main clause De Amerikanen hebben dit voor het eerst ontdekt'The Americans discovered this first'. This means that leaving out the relative clause renders the construction infelicitous since this deprives the addressee from the information needed to properly relate the Americans to the topic of discussion and would leave the addressee wondering why reference is made to the entities denoted by the nominal predicate.

[+]  III.  The positions of antecedent and relative clause

Non-restrictive clauses always follow their antecedent. Although they need not be adjacent to it, in many cases relative clauses do immediately follow their antecedent. This is illustrated in (344) for cases in which the antecedent functions as a subject, a direct or indirect object, or the complement of a preposition.

344
a. Jan, [RC die naast mij woont], speelt goed piano.
  Jan  who  next.to me  lives  plays  well  piano
  'Jan, who lives next to me, plays the piano well.'
b. Ik heb net voor het eerst mijn buurman, [RC die leraar is], ontmoet.
  have  just  for the first  my neighbor  who  teacher  is  met
  'Iʼve just met my neighbor, who is a teacher, for the first time.'
c. Ik heb Jan, [RC die ziek is], een leuke detective gegeven.
  I have Jan  who  ill  is  a nice detective  given
  'Iʼve given Jan, who is ill, a nice detective novel.'
d. Ik heb naar Jan, [RC die mooi piano speelt], geluisterd.
  have  to Jan  who  beautifully  piano  plays  listened
  'Iʼve listened to Jan, who plays the piano beautifully.'

As previously noted, the antecedent and the relative clause need not always be adjacent, and this subsection briefly discusses a number of issues relating to the positions of antecedent and relative clause. First we will consider cases in which the relative clause is in extraposed position, next we will look at the possibilities for topicalization, and we will conclude with a discussion of non-restrictive relative clauses with personal pronoun antecedent, which exhibit special behavior with regard to word order.

[+]  A.  Extraposition of the relative clause

The possibility of extraposition of non-restrictive relative clauses seems to be more or less the same as in the case of that of restrictive relative clauses discussed in Section 3.3.2.3.2, albeit that the result always tends to be slightly marked. Furthermore, it should be noted that giving judgments is often complicated by the fact that the resulting strings are generally also acceptable on an appositive reading, in which case the clause is preceded by a very distinct intonation break (a pause and usually a falling intonation much more pronounced than in the case of non-restrictive modifiers), which separates it from the preceding material, and emphasizes its parenthetical nature.
      Section 3.3.2.3.2, sub II, has shown that extraposition of a non-restrictive relative clause is possible from a subject provided that the latter does not occupy the canonical subject position to the immediate right of the complementizer. The examples in (345) show that the same thing holds for non-restrictive relative clauses. Whereas (345a) is only acceptable if pronounced with the intonation pattern typical of an appositional reading, the examples in (345b'&c') do not require this.

345
Subject
a. Jan, [RC die naast mij woont], speelt goed piano.
  Jan  who  next.to me  lives  plays  well  piano
  'Jan, who lives next to me, plays the piano well.'
a'. * Jan speelt goed piano, [RC die naast mij woont].
b. dat er nu een pianist, [RC die prachtig speelt], naast me woont.
  that  there  now  a pianist  who  beautifully plays  next.to me  lives
  'that there lives a pianist next to me, who plays beautifully.'
b'. ? dat er nu een pianist naast me woont, [RC die prachtig speelt].
c. dat waarschijnlijk de pianist, [RC die prachtig speelt], wordt gekozen.
  that  probably  the pianist  who  beautifully plays  is  chosen
  'that the pianist will be chosen, who plays beautifully.'
c'. ? dat waarschijnlijk de pianist wordt gekozen, [RC die prachtig speelt].

      Example (346b) shows that extraposition of a non-restrictive relative clause from a direct object antecedent seems possible: of course, we may be dealing here with an apposition as well, but it seems that we do not have to pronounce this example with the intonation pattern associated with appositions. In this respect, example (346b) crucially differs from the (c)-examples in (346), which involve, repectively, scrambling and topicalization of the direct object and which are only acceptable with the intonation pattern associated with appositions.

346
Direct object
a. Ik heb net voor het eerst mijn buurman, [RC die leraar is], ontmoet.
  have  just  for the first  my neighbor  who  teacher  is  met
  'Yesterday I met my neighbor, who is a teacher, for the first time.'
b. Ik heb net voor het eerst mijn buurman ontmoet, [RC die leraar is].
c. # Ik heb mijn buurman net voor het eerst ontmoet, [RC die leraar is].
c'. # Mijn buurman heb ik net voor het eerst ontmoet, [RC die leraar is].

      Extraposition of non-restrictive relative clauses seems to give rise to a slightly marked result if the antecedent is the complement of a preposition. This is illustrated in (347b) for a prepositional indirect object and in (348b) for a PP-complement of the verb. The (c)-examples show that topicalization of the PP makes the result unacceptable on the intended non-appositional reading. Note that, just as in the case of extraposition of restrictive relative clauses, the markedness of the (b)-examples might be due to the fact that the (b)-examples compete with constructions in which the full PP is in extraposed position.

347
Prepositional indirect object
a. Ik heb die leuke detective aan Jan, [RC die ziek is], gegeven.
  have  that nice detective  to Jan  who  ill  is  given
  'Iʼve given that nice detective novel to Jan, who is ill.'
b. ? Ik heb die leuke detective aan Jan gegeven, [RC die ziek is].
c. # Aan Jan heb ik die leuke detective gegeven, [RC die ziek is].
348
PP-complement
a. Ik heb naar Jan, [RC die mooi piano speelt], geluisterd.
  have  to Jan  who  beautifully  piano  plays  listened
  'Iʼve listened to Jan, who plays the piano beautifully.'
b. ? Ik heb naar Jan geluisterd, [RC die mooi piano speelt].
c. # Naar Jan heb ik geluisterd, [RC die mooi piano speelt].

      Section 3.3.2.3.2, sub II, has also shown that extraposition of restrictive relative clauses from nominal indirect objects is possible provided that the indirect object is preceded by the direct object. The examples in (349) show that the same thing holds for non-restrictive relative clauses: the examples in (349c&d), in which the direct object precedes the indirect object as the result of, respectively, scrambling and topicalization, are considerably better than example (349b), in which the direct object follows the indirect object.

349
Nominal indirect object
a. Ik heb Jan, [RC die ziek is], die leuke detective gegeven.
  have  Jan  who  ill  is  that nice detective  given
  'Iʼve given Jan, who is ill, that nice detective novel.'
b. * Ik heb Jan die leuke detective gegeven, [RC die ziek is].