"[[They] [[shot] [him] [in [what appears to be] a gangland killing.]]]".
What is the grammatical function of the clause "what appears to be"?
"what appears to be a gangland killing" - complex prepositional object
Last edited by Bennevis; 23-Sep-2011 at 02:36.
I gave the student with the highest overall marks a special prize.
I am not sure what terminology would be appropriate for "what appears to be a gangland killing", but I am pretty sure it is nothing to do with indirect objects.
I didn't see your post. I'd realized that since there is a preposition before the part in question, it must be a complex prepositional object.
what appears to be a gangland killing is not even a syntactic constituent. It doesn't have a function. in what appears to be a gangland killing is and does have though.
It sounds like in what appears to be a gangland killing is an adjunct that modifies the verb shot and we have an independent clause what appears to be stepped in to the adjunct.
What do you need this for? Are you writing a program?