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    • Join Date: Aug 2004
    • Posts: 75
    #1

    Question Which word is the subject of the clause?

    The work of mathematician Roger Penrose in the early 1970s, on the geometry of what are called aperiodic tiles, turned out to describe the architecture of a previously unknown class of crystals.

    Is "aperiodic tiles" the subject of the clause or the complement of "What"?
    Please advise.
    Thanks.

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #2

    Re: Which word is the subject of the clause?

    Active
    Mathematicians call X aperiodic tiles.
    => Structurally, if 'X' is the object, then 'aperiodic tiles' is its object complement.
    Test: X = aperiodic tiles

    Passive
    X are called aperiodic tiles by mathematicians.
    => Structurally, if 'X' is the subject, then 'aperiodic tiles' is its subject complement.
    => Semantics: if 'X' is the semantic object, then 'aperiodic tiles' is its object complement.


    • Join Date: Aug 2004
    • Posts: 75
    #3

    Re: Which word is the subject of the clause?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea

    Passive
    X are called aperiodic tiles by mathematicians.
    => Structurally, if 'X' is the subject, then 'aperiodic tiles' is its subject complement.
    => Semantics: if 'X' is the semantic object, then 'aperiodic tiles' is its object complement.
    Thanks, Casiopea.

    According to your explanation and the usage notes on http://www.bartleby.com/61/93/W0109300.html, I understand now that Aperiodic tiles is the complement. And when "what" is the subject of a clause and the complement of the main clause are plural, the verb agrees with them
    Last edited by piggy386; 26-Sep-2005 at 00:25.

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