Take, for example, the sentence "The dog, which is in the corner of the room, is barking.". Is there a specific term for the part of the sentence "which is in the corner of the room", which can be removed to leave the valid sentence of "The dog is barking."?

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    It's a 1. parenthetical: "a construction that can be used to extend the meaning of a word or phrase but is not one of the main constituents of a sentence" and more broadly, 2. an adjunct: "word or phrase that adds information to a sentence and that can be removed from the sentence without making the sentence ungrammatical" – Kris Mar 20 '19 at 10:17
  • In this case "which is in the corner of the room" is a non-defining (or non-restrictive) relative clause. But what do you mean by 'invalidating the remainder of the sentence'? Do you mean making the remainder sentence ungrammatical? I suspect you can remove most dependent (subordinate clauses) and leave a grammatical fragment. – Shoe Mar 20 '19 at 10:28
  • @Shoe "...and leave a grammatically complete sentence," rather. – Kris Mar 20 '19 at 10:33
  • @Kris. Yes, your wording is better. I meant that the fragment of the sentence that is left after removal of the dependent clause would be grammatical. But as the term "fragment sentence" generally refers to an incomplete sentence, it would not be surprising if my comment is misunderstood. – Shoe Mar 20 '19 at 10:42
  • Note that "invalidating" is a loose term here. You could very easily change the meaning if there are multiple dogs in the room. – Hot Licks Mar 20 '19 at 12:31

It is a Parenthesis. It derives its name from the punctuation marks called parentheses, curved brackets — one but not only device employed to mark off any dispensable amplifier be it a phrase, clause , word or sentence. They can be marked off without hampering the meaning of the main sentence or relevant sentence by such punctuation marks as round or square brackets, comas, or dashes.

Any modifier appearing after the noun or pronoun, an appositive, a noun in vocative use, asides in dramas or absolute phases or nominative absolute can safely be called a Parenthesis.

  • The dog, which is in the corner of the room, is barking.

The portion marked of by comas can be so done by brackets or dashes as well. It is an example of parenthesis. The spelling is different from that punctuation mark, parentheses it lends its name to.

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    I'd be inclined to call it a 'non-restrictive element'. Such elements can be dropped without altering the basic proposition. – BillJ Mar 20 '19 at 13:21
  • Yes, you're right but it's mostly used for adjective clauses non-defining in nature. – Barid Baran Acharya Mar 20 '19 at 13:32

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