I just came across this sentence in a newspaper:

The mill ceased production in 1982, an early warning of another revolution on a global scale.

I know it is a perfectly grammatical sentence and I've seen a lot of similar ones. But I'm wondering what grammatical function the latter NP (or clause?) plays. It looks like a relative clause without "which is", right? Does this grammatical role have a name?


2 Answers 2


This does not seem like a formal term, but according to the quoted site, your example is called a VERBLESS CLAUSE.

From https://www.thoughtco.com/verbless-clause-1692588:

"A verbless clause . . . is considered a clause because it is dealing with a separate piece of information in relation to the main clause. For example, in the sentence, In the interests of the local children, the council should reconsider its decision, there are two separate pieces of information: the main clause--the council should reconsider its decision; and a dependent clause that deals with issues that interest local children. In this clause, however, the verb has been nominalized resulting in a verbless clause. Verbless clauses are different from adverbial phrases. The latter provide some information to do with the time, place, or manner in which something happens within an existing clause. Verbless clauses, on the other hand, provide a separate piece of information outside of an existing clause." (Peter Knapp and Megan Watkins, Genre, Text, Grammar: Technologies for Teaching and Assessing Writing. UNSW Press, 2005)


"An early warning of another revolution on a global scale."

This is a dependant cause that's relative. (I don't think it needs "which is".)

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