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  1. AlJapone's Avatar
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    #1

    Besides, who are you that you should be setting a price upon your friendship?

    Besides, who are you that you should be setting a price upon your friendship?
    A sentence from On Friendship by A. Clutton-Brock

    Dear Sirs.

    I do not know what to make of 'that' in the above sentence. Please give me some advice to analyze this construction.

    Best wishes,


    AlJapone

  2. Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Besides, who are you that you should be setting a price upon your friendship?

    That's a good one.

    My first thought is that "that" is a relative pronoun and the subject in the adjective clause with the second "you" as an appositive. The first "you" is the antecedent to the "that". But I am not sure that that explains the sentence. I willing happily read other suggestions.

  3. AlJapone's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Besides, who are you that you should be setting a price upon your friendship?

    Hello,

    Even if it is possible to paraphrase our sentence as follows:
    Besides, who are you if you should be you setting a price upon your friendship?
    I believe there still remains a problem: that relating the complement in sub-clause to the subject in main-clause.
    Or is it that "who" is the subject in the original sentence and you, complement; so there is no problem?


    Best wishes,


    AlJapone
    Last edited by AlJapone; 05-Jan-2011 at 01:11.

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    #4

    Re: Besides, who are you that you should be setting a price upon your friendship?

    It seems a bit more complex than an apposition on "you".

    There are many sentences that follow this pattern:

    What is man, that thou art mindful of him. (Psalm 8:4 -- thou art = you are)

    On this day when we hear His voice let us not harden our hearts, but let us give our hearts and bodies to Him, and our lives to Him, that we may live in peace in this world...

    The two religious quotations reflect that the pattern is really quite literary, even high, style.

    I would say it's an adverbial clause (perhaps an adverb of manner -- answers the question "how") -- modifying the entire sentence before it -- or, I suppose, the verb if you must so insist. You may think of there being an omitted "such" before "that".

    There is a nice correspondence to this in formal logic. The grammatical subject and complements ("x", "y") and the verb ("P") correspond to a predicate P(x,y).

    Then the constuction really is as follows:

    P(x,y). How P(x,y)? P(x,y) such that Q(z).

    Who are you? Who are you, such that you should be setting a price upon your friendship?

    I realize my suggestion is quite complicated, but it does apply equally to the similar sentences above, where an apposition is not really apparent.

    頑張った.
    Last edited by abaka; 05-Jan-2011 at 06:25.

  4. AlJapone's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Besides, who are you that you should be setting a price upon your friendship?

    Dear Sirs.

    I retract my opinion stated in my second post. As always, Google helped me.

    who are you that you should not believe in fairy tales?
    Who are you that you should say these things to us?
    Who are you that you plant your seeds of destruction?
    who are you that you are afraid of man who dies,
    Who are you that you should find fault with the servant of another?

    I get an impression from these examples that 'that' functions in them as a conjunction introducing a clause that restrictively describes a listner's caracteristics, probably regrettable ones; the listner or listners may well be actual or potential.

    I am not sure about to which definition out of many that dictionaries offer these examples match.

    Best wishes.


    AlJapone

    Ohazukashii kagiridesu

  5. Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Besides, who are you that you should be setting a price upon your friendship?

    This is an interesting thread, and I will have to take more time to think about it, but I wanted to point out that the construction does not have to be regrettable or negative, e.g.

    Who is she, that she can be so breathtakingly beautiful? Venus?

  6. AlJapone's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Besides, who are you that you should be setting a price upon your friendship?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    This is an interesting thread, and I will have to take more time to think about it, but I wanted to point out that the construction does not have to be regrettable or negative, e.g.

    Who is she, that she can be so breathtakingly beautiful? Venus?
    Apparantly the speaker has someone in mind when she/he asks, "who are you that ...?" I imagine one of motivations behind this retrical expression might be the speaker's indignation, or at best unwillingness to believe what is going on between him/her and the listner(s); hence, the that clause coincidentaly describes negative caracteristics more often than not.
    When the subject is the third person, this may tend not to be the case for a variety of reason.

    By the way, is this Arthur Clutton-Brock famous in english speaking countries? I found his essay Sunday Before The War very beutiful, almost mesmerising notwithstanding my poor English comprehension abilities. I would like to know your opinion if it were not much trouble for you. It's quite a short essay.
    An Essay by A. Clutton-Brock, "Sunday Before The War."

    Best wishes


    AlJapone
    Last edited by AlJapone; 05-Jan-2011 at 21:47. Reason: grammatical errors

  7. Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Besides, who are you that you should be setting a price upon your friendship?

    It still does not have to be indignant just because it is in the third person. It can be worshipful, e.g.

    Who are you that you can so understand this sentence's syntax?

  8. AlJapone's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Besides, who are you that you should be setting a price upon your friendship?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    It still does not have to be indignant just because it is in the third person. It can be worshipful, e.g.

    Who are you that you can so understand this sentence's syntax?
    Hello, Antonson.

    I guess I was wrong there. Even though most of what came up when I googled had two traits in common: the modal should and negative tone, I admit several results from my cursorily searching cannot be called proof in any way for some veracity of my impression; in fact, if you did not tell me that your example is an expression of worship, I would consider it ironical, or even imagine that the speaker realised at that point he had been decieved, i.e. you are not what you have tried to make me to believe as what you are. With this kind of prejudice I could have never hoped to reach understanding of the construction, I thank you for your lucid illustration.

    Best wishes.


    AlJapone

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    #10

    Re: Besides, who are you that you should be setting a price upon your friendship?

    The word "that" is not always a relative pronoun equivalent to some other (pro)noun, explicit or implied.

    Its English usage is considerably more complex.

    We eat, that we might live.

    Would that it were, that the other could be.


    In both of these the subordinate non-restrictive that-clause is very similar to the ones in the "who is X, that..." construction: similar enough that ( ) I think a single analysis should be made. In which case, the that-clause is clearly adverbial.

    Note the one thing such that-clauses often have in common: their verb is subjunctive, or modally augmented, implying irreality, here one of purpose. (I said manner earlier. That was a mistake.)

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