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    #1

    Aren't fused relative clauses just the same as indirect questions?

    ----------------------------------------
    According to this Wikipedia article (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_relative_clauses#_) English allows a special case of relative clauses called 'nominal' or 'fused relative clauses' that contain 'fused relative pronouns' which replace both the antecedent and the modifier in the sentence.

    e.g. "I did what he desired."
    -where fused relative pronoun 'what' replaces
    a 'which' modifying a 'that' ("...that which he desired.")

    Why is there a need to refer to them as 'fused relative pronouns' when they function exactly the same as 'interrogative pronouns' in indirect questions (i.e. interrogative content clauses)?
    ...as mentioned in these Wikipedia articles (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrogative_word)(en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_clause)

    e.g. "I did what he desired."
    -where interrogative content clause 'what he desired'
    serves as a direct object, identifying the sentence as
    an indirect question
    --------------------------------------

    I believe the existence of so-called 'fused relative pronouns' is completely unecessary as they overlap with the functions of interrogative pronouns in indirect questions.


    Therefore: When a regular relative clause containing "...that which..."
    fuses the two, the result is an interrogative content clause containing the interrogative pronoun 'what'. (not some special case of relative clauses)

    Can anyone confirm this?

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    #2

    Re: Aren't fused relative clauses just the same as indirect questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by josen95 View Post
    Therefore: When a regular relative clause containing "...that which..."
    fuses the two, the result is an interrogative content clause containing the interrogative pronoun 'what'. (not some special case of relative clauses)

    Can anyone confirm this?
    I see what you are saying.

    The idea of a fused relative seems to me to be more appropriate to that sentence than 'interrogative content'.

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    #3

    Re: Aren't fused relative clauses just the same as indirect questions?

    Simply put again: So-called "fusing" together 'that' and 'which' does not make 'what' the fused relative pronoun, but instead makes 'what' the interrogative pronoun of the sentence (which would consequently become an indirect question).

    I really appreciate any help or confirmation given about this :D
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    F.Y.I.

    I just need to clarify these grammar rules to aid my translation in Latin. I need to translate the 'what' in "It is what it is." to Latin. Latin apparently has no words that function as 'fused relative pronouns'. If I am to translate 'what' into Latin, I must either...

    1. break it into the Latin words for 'that' and 'which' (assuming that there is a fused relative pronoun 'what' in English different from the interrogative pronoun 'what')

    or

    2. use the Latin word for the interrogative pronoun 'what' (assuming that I'm correct in saying "fused relative clause" is merely an extra unnecessary term for what is already called interrogative content clause or indirect question)


    ...This is why I need to resolve the issue between fused relative clauses and indirect questions first.
    Last edited by josen95; 16-Jun-2012 at 04:45.

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    #4

    Re: Aren't fused relative clauses just the same as indirect questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by josen95 View Post
    Simply put again: So-called "fusing" together 'that' and 'which' does not make 'what' the fused relative pronoun, but instead makes 'what' the interrogative pronoun of the sentence (which would consequently become an indirect question).
    I really don't know why you seem to think that indirect questions or interrogative pronouns are involved in a statement such as "I see what you are saying" or "it is what it is".

    In "What are you saying?", what functions as an interrogative (asking the question) pronoun (standing for what thing).
    In "I don't know what you are saying", what functions as a relative (referring back to an antecedent and joining a clause to it) pronoun (standing for the thing that).

    In English, it happens that one word, what, can function in two different ways here. Some languages, for example, German, also have one word that can function in these two different ways. Other languages, for example, French, do not have one word; they need to use different word. Your task is to find out how these ideas are expressed in Latin. Worrying about how some people label the functions in English is not going to help, in my opinion.

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    #5

    Re: Aren't fused relative clauses just the same as indirect questions?

    You don't have two options; you must follow the Latin system and do it that way.

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    #6

    Re: Aren't fused relative clauses just the same as indirect questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by josen95 View Post

    I just need to clarify these grammar rules to aid my translation in Latin. I need to translate the 'what' in "It is what it is." to Latin.
    Hi,

    I'm no expert in Latin, but for this specific specific concept (the "what" in "It is what it is"), Latin "qui, quae, quod" is the option given by most translators. Google gives "est quod est" for this particular sentence.

    I have also tried "I see what you mean" and Google gives "Video quod inelliguntur." I believe that "intelliguntur" is a passive form of "intelligere" (literally, "understand"), so you will have to be careful with your translations.


    Greetings,

    charliedeut

    PS: good luck!
    Last edited by charliedeut; 15-Jun-2012 at 11:52. Reason: too (2 also) specific
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: Aren't fused relative clauses just the same as indirect questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I really don't know why you seem to think that indirect questions or interrogative pronouns are involved in a statement such as "I see what you are saying" or "it is what it is".

    In "What are you saying?", what functions as an interrogative (asking the question) pronoun (standing for what thing).
    In "I don't know what you are saying", what functions as a relative (referring back to an antecedent and joining a clause to it) pronoun (standing for the thing that).
    Thank you for the reply,

    Again, I am basing this on the Wikipedia articles I linked earlier. (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrogative_word) says how interrogative pronouns are what are used in both direct and indirect questions. (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_clause) shows how indirect questions, otherwise known as interrogative content clauses, use interrogative pronouns while often functioning as direct objects, e.g. "I know what you did." (which I believe is similarly structured with "It is what it is.")

    The thing is...these examples also seem to follow the same structure as the examples given for "fused relative clauses" in (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_relative_clauses#_); hence, it appears to me "fused relative clauses" overlap and are pretty much indirect questions themselves.

    ...not unless you claim the articles are wrong (which is what I'm in fact questioning) or that I misunderstand them

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    #8

    Re: Aren't fused relative clauses just the same as indirect questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    I'm no expert in Latin, but for this specific specific concept (the "what" in "It is what it is"), Latin "qui, quae, quod" is the option given by most translators. Google gives "est quod est" for this particular sentence.
    I have in fact considered using "qui, quae, quod". The problem with that is that the translation would be inaccurate: "Est quod est." would be "It is which it is.", so the relative 'which' would not be modifying anything. That is why (if ever) the second option is to add a 'that' which 'which' would modify: "Est illud quod est." or "It is that which it is".

    ...assuming of course that "fused relative clauses" do in fact exist as different from indirect questions, so 'what' can be broken down that way for a translation

    :D Thanks!
    Last edited by josen95; 16-Jun-2012 at 04:43.

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    #9

    Re: Aren't fused relative clauses just the same as indirect questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by josen95 View Post
    ...not unless you claim the articles are wrong (which is what I'm in fact questioning) or that I misunderstand them
    The article suggests that 'I know what you did' is an indirect question. I disagree.

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