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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    Yoo Sungryong, who was born in 1542

    I read a description of a famous official in Korea and it starts like this.
    If it were "Yoo Sungryong who was born in 1542 was a man of integrity", it would mean there could have been other Yoo Sungryong who were born in other times. So it also seems to make sense, what do you think?
    Is the writer thinking that there's only one Yoo Sungryong in Korea? Do restrictive and non-restrictive usage of relative pronoun depend on speakers' thinking or attitude?

    ex)Yoo Sungryong, who was born in 1542, was a man of integrity...

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    #2

    Re: Yoo Sungryong, who was born in 1542

    I would only use the restrictive clause if at least two Yoo Sungryongs had been mentioned before and if I needed to use the year of birth of the one I wanted to talk about to distinguish him from the other one or ones. I would write

    The Yoo Sungryong who was born in 1542 was a man of integrity
    .

  2. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Yoo Sungryong, who was born in 1542

    That makes sense as the two should be distinguished. But in normal cases without any previous information, why do they use a comma for non-restrictive usage? Are they thinking there's only one of such person or thing, while there can be other possible people or things? Does it entirely depend on your attitude, not an objective fact?

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    #4

    Re: Yoo Sungryong, who was born in 1542

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    That makes sense as the two should be distinguished. But in normal cases without any previous information, why do they use a comma for non-restrictive usage? Are they thinking there's only one of such person or thing, while there can be other possible people or things? Does it entirely depend on your attitude, not an objective fact?
    No, they don't have to think there's no other Yoo Sungryong in the world to use the non-restrictive clause. It's enough that there isn't one in in the discussion. The function of a restrictive clause is to define. If no other Yoo Sungryong has been mentioned previously, then the one I want to talk about is sufficiently defined. I don't need to define him anymore. So I will use a non-restrictive clause, whose function is to give additional information.

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    #5

    Re: Yoo Sungryong, who was born in 1542

    Yoo Sungryong who was born in 1542 was a man of integrity
    It is much more natural with commas- you'd have to create quite a context for this to be natural IMO.

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Yoo Sungryong, who was born in 1542

    You seem to be saying that how to restrict a noun depends on the scope of conversation or context. Okay, but something is quite ambiguous like the following.

    1. A bat found in the house should be removed immediately - There's no context, only this sentence. And the writer is thinking there could be other bats, so "a bat" should be restricted.

    2. A bat, found in the house, should be removed immediately - If an unspecific bat is found in the house, it should be removed. Maybe the writer thinking about an unspecific bat first, and then proceed to give it a condition.

    Maybe I understood you wrong, but the two are possible and vague to me.

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    #7

    Re: Yoo Sungryong, who was born in 1542

    I'm not entirely sure the commas are impossible here. With them, I understand the sentence to be

    A bat, if (it's) found in the house, should be removed immediately.

    with "if" or "if it's" elided. I'm not sure a native speaker would write it this way. But, in any case, the usual way of writing this would be without the commas. I'll make "found in the house" a finite clause:

    A bat that is found in the house should be removed immediately.

    Being found in the house is what defines the kind of bat you should remove immediately.

  4. keannu's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Yoo Sungryong, who was born in 1542

    You mean "a man of integrity" is defining Yoo Sungryong, so "who...1542" can be a non-restrictive clause. If it were "a Korean guy", then it could mean other Yoo Sungryong. so does it have to be a restrive clause?

    ex)Yoo Sungryong, who was born in 1542, was a man of integrity
    =>Yoo Sungryong who was born in 1542 was a Korean guy

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    #9

    Re: Yoo Sungryong, who was born in 1542

    You mean "a man of integrity" is defining Yoo Sungryong, so "who...1542" can be a non-restrictive clause.

    I didn't say that. I don't know the context.

    The second sentence is no different from the first one. It is the same situation. Unless we actually need to define our Yoo Sungryong as the Yoo Sungryong who was born in 1542, we won't.

    Could you perhaps give some more context? Is it the first time Yoo Sungryong is mentioned?

  5. keannu's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Yoo Sungryong, who was born in 1542

    I only remember the description on a board to explain him in a tourist attraction. It started with such a sentence with no previous sentence given, so I wonder if nothing was given in the prior context, how he could be defined with a non-restrictive clause.
    1. I know two Charlie Sheen, one is a common person, and the other is a movie star. Charlie Sheen who is a movie star is really handsome.
    2. Charlie sheen, who is a movie star, is really handsome. He was born in 1965, and made tons of movies so far.

    For 2, you are saying the writer is dealing with the movie star with only him in mind. Okay, there's only one Charlie Sheen appearing in this context, but if the readers know another Charlie Sheen, doesn't he have to define him?

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