... Considerable decreases were witnessed in the figures for India and China seven years later, with Asian elephant populations of around 7500 and 500 respectively. Sinking even more dramatically, Asian elephant numbers in Malaysia and Thailand both declined by around 60%...

Normally, in a sentence with a reduced adverbial clause, I see a causal, temporal, or contrasting relationship between the clauses. The second sentence sounds right to me, but I can't tell for sure which relationship it is here. Is the sentence unnatural?

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  • Are you claiming there's no relationship between "Sinking even more dramatically" and "Asian elephant numbers in Malaysia and Thailand both declined by around 60%"? They are both expressing the same fact, the latter more specific than the former. Here "Sinking even more dramatically" functions to link the main clause to the preceding sentence.
    – Stuart F
    Mar 27 at 10:27
  • I thought the two clauses had to have one of the three relationships: causal, temporal, or contrasting relationship. That's why when I couldn't tell which relationship they had, I doubted if it was correct. So it seems that we have more than three kinds of relationships between the clauses, don't we?
    – Ken Adams
    Mar 28 at 4:33
  • I don't know what you mean by "reduced adverbial clause". In your example, the participial clause "sinking even more dramatically" is not reduced in any way, and nor is it a modifier. It's a supplement (or appendage) functioning as an adjunct in clause structure. The supplement clause is not syntactically linked to the main clause, but there is of course a semantic relationship.
    – BillJ
    Mar 28 at 10:01


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