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  1. inase's Avatar
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    #1

    Not that I know of.

    Hello,

    "Not that I know of." is the phrase I hear Americans use when they want to say "no" and at the same time are not very much sure about the answer because of the lack of information. Or when they just don't want to say a straightforward "no."

    In the following conversation, I wonder how the "not that I know of" part can be expanded to a full sentence.

    "Did the dog bark at Kate when she tried to take him out for a walk?"
    "Not that I know of. The dog likes the walk."

    Using "not to my knowledge" which has a similar meaning, it can easily be paraphrased:

    "(The dog did) not (bark at her) to my knowledge."

    Below is my guess:

    "(The dog did) not (bark at her from the fact/information) that I know of."

    Inase

  2. Senior Member
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    #2

    Re: Not that I know of.

    Did the dog bark? It is not something that I know of.

  3. inase's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Not that I know of.

    Your explanation is understandable if we think the "that I know of" part is replaceable by "to my knowledge," but an adverbial "that" clause is not grammatical that I know of.

    Could someone think of other expressions where "that" is used this way?

    Inase

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Not that I know of.

    Quote Originally Posted by inase View Post

    Could someone think of other expressions where "that" is used this way?
    Not that I can think of.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Not that I know of.

    Below is my guess:

    "(The dog did) not (bark at her from the fact/information) that I know of."
    I think that's a very good guess, Inase. The fruits of my research so far indicate that the "that I know of" part is indeed an adverbial clause. I can only find the construction in a few of the older grammars in my library. I do not find it in Quirk et al. (1985) or CGEL (2002), though it's possible I overlooked it while blazing hurriedly through the indexes.

    I suspect that the "not" part could be analyzed, in modern generative terms, as "stripping," a.k.a. "bare argument ellipsis." This would work pretty much as you've displayed. After ellipsis, "not" (which is sentential-negation "not," a head on the clausal spine in generative grammar) would be all that remains of the full clause, "The dog did not bark at her."

    Could someone think of other expressions where "that" is used this way?
    I did the next best thing: I thought of some other people, who were able to think of some.

    Otto Jespersen:"That is always used in that I know and similar expressions after a negative = 'so far as I know.' . . . Bunyan . . . I felt what guilt was, though never before, that I can remember. . . . I looked at nothing, that I know of, but I saw everything. . . . he took a book sometimes, but never read it that I saw. . . . I had no particular liking, that I could discover, for anything." (A Modern Grammar on Historical Principles, Vol. 3, pp. 160-1. Eknar Munksgaard: Copenhagen, 1909-49.)

    Etsko Kruisinga: He analyses the construction as an adverbial clause of restriction. Here are some of his examples, quoted from literature: "He has paid all the bills, as far as I know"; "He is not here, that I can learn"; "No one knows anything about it, that I can find." (A Handbook of Present-Day English, Vol. 3, p. 403. P. Noordhoff: Groningen, 1932.)

    Hendrik Poutsma: He too categorizes it as an adverbial clause of restriction. "That," he writes, "seems to occur only after a negative head-clause; thus in: Her brother took a book sometimes, but never read it, that I saw. Dick., Cop., Ch. IX 64b. Her mother had never named her own kindred to her before, that she could remember. Mrs. Ward. Marc., I, 112. 'Has Catherine come back yet?' - 'Not that I know of.' id., Rob. Elsm., 1, 14." (A Grammar of Late Modern English, Part 1, Second Half, p. 755. P. Noordhoff: Groningen, 1929.)

  6. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Not that I know of.

    Huddleston and Pullum: This construction may be glossed as "This is not, however to say/suggest that ...". [...]
    The syntactic analysis is somewhat problematic. In terms of function, the construction occupies a non-embedded position, like a main clause. In terms of structure, we might take not as modifying the content clause (as in not all it modifies all, and so on). If so, the whole construction will have the form of a subordinate clause even though it is not functionally subordinate; as with other cases of this kind (such as That it should have come to this!) there is implicit rather than explicit subordination.
    (The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, p 811. Cambridge: CUP.)

    No joy with Quirk yet, but I am searching

  7. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #7

    Re: Not that I know of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Not that I can think of.
    Not that I am aware of.

  8. Piscean's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Not that I know of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    No joy with Quirk yet, but I am searching
    Well, the search was interesting; not that I found anything.
    Last edited by Tdol; 01-Jun-2017 at 14:26. Reason: weel -> well

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    #9

    Re: Not that I know of.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  10. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #10

    Re: Not that I know of.

    The dinner was great. Not that I ate anything.

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