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  1. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #41

    Re: You can see where he'd have trouble!

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    I admit that (i) is a borderline case, probably because of interference from "see." It's as if "with" wanted to mate with "see," as in "see with glasses."
    Yes, that's what I suspected too.

    Let's try a different case. There won't be such interference if we use "under" rather than "with." I doubt you'll have any problems at all with (vi):

    (v) You can see what circumstances he would have trouble under.
    (vi) You can see under what circumstances he would have trouble.

    (vii) He should avoid whatever circumstances he would have trouble under.
    (viii) *He should avoid under whatever circumstances he would have trouble.

    If you like, we could change "whatever" to "what" in (vii) and (viii), but I think (vii) and (viii) would be even worse with "what" rather than "whatever." This shows that after "avoid" an NP complement is needed, insofar as the -ever suffix never works on the wh-word of an embedded question. Nevertheless, compare (ix) with (vi):

    (ix) *He should avoid under what circumstances he would have trouble.
    That's much better. Got it.

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    #42

    Re: You can see where he'd have trouble!

    Some light is glimmering in my mental darkness, but the darkness is still not very penetrable.

    I can see that there is an underlying difference (or there are underlying differences between 'free relatives' and 'embedded questions'. What I still cannot see is why both the underlined clauses below are labelled 'embedded questions:


    [1] Sally asked me where John lived.
    [2] Sally told me where John lived.

    Paul Matthews said '[2] reports the act of giving an answer to the question "Where does John live?" 'but does not appear to have offered us a justification for this claim. I suggested that no question has been asked. Jutfrank seems to have also cast doubt on the existence of a question.

    you wrote:
    1. The type of ellipsis known as sluicing only occurs with interrogative clauses, embedded or root.
    2. Ipso facto, the type of ellipsis known as sluicing does not occur with free/fused relative clauses.
    3. A sentence like He told me where exhibits the type of ellipsis known as sluicing.
    Therefore,
    4. A sentence like He told me where contains an interrogative clause, not a free/fused relative clause.
    Your logic there seems OK, but the argument works only if you accept that "The type of ellipsis known as sluicing only occurs with interrogative clauses, embedded or root". You said earlier in that post:

    In actual usage, of course, the elliptical sentence requires an antecedent, but that needn't be supplied by a question -- e.g.: She doesn't know where he works, but I do. He told me where.
    So, what is the justification for calling it an embedded question when there is no question, direct or indirect?

  3. probus's Avatar
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    #43

    Re: You can see where he'd have trouble!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Thread moved as the OP lost interest after post #8.
    All I can say is where is Raymondaliaspollyon when we need him.

  4. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #44

    Re: You can see where he'd have trouble!

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    So, what is the justification for calling it an embedded question when there is no question, direct or indirect?
    Unless I've misunderstood (which is quite likely), the term 'embedded question' seems to be an unfortunate shorthand for 'embedded interrogative clause'. That is, it's a purely syntactic term that does not necessarily have the pragmatic illocutionary force of asking a question. It seems to me that an embedded question posits a 'potential' question that may or may not be realised through expression in language, either publicly or privately.

    Excuse me for attempting to answer what was not addressed to me. I keenly await other responses.

  5. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #45

    Re: You can see where he'd have trouble!

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    What I still cannot see is why both the underlined clauses below are labelled 'embedded questions:


    [1] Sally asked me where John lived.
    [2] Sally told me where John lived.

    Paul Matthews said '[2] reports the act of giving an answer to the question "Where does John live?" 'but does not appear to have offered us a justification for this claim. I suggested that no question has been asked. Jutfrank seems to have also cast doubt on the existence of a question.
    I agree with Jutfrank that "embedded question," in the sense in which I and probably also Paul Matthews are using it, is equivalent to "embedded interrogative clause," and that such clauses are not always or even mostly used to report actual questions that have been asked.

    My interpretation of what Paul Matthews has in mind, in the explanation of his that you have cited, is that [2] reports the act of supplying a value for a variable, namely, the variable denoted by the embedded interrogative clause "where John lived."

    Incidentally, the first sentence of yours that I have quoted in the quote box above, Piscean, is, to my lights, a pseudo-cleft sentence in which an embedded interrogative clause ("why both the underlined clauses below are 'embedded questions'") is subject complement.

    I can't make up my mind about the subject. Is it a free relative or another embedded interrogative? I'm inclined to think it's another embedded interrogative. It feels much different from, e.g., "What I still cannot see is pink and blue, according to Sally." Moreover, we could have:

    Piscean told me what he still could not see. He told me that he still could not see why both the underlined clauses below are 'embedded questions'.

    In that sentence pair, which is based on your pseudo-cleft, "what he still could not see" (non-assertive) is a variable the value for which is supplied by the "that"-clause (assertive) of the second sentence. Both the "what"-clause and the "that"-clause are complements following "told me."

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    #46

    Re: You can see where he'd have trouble!

    I appreciate your attempts to lighten my darkness, Phaedrus, but my limited brain is proving too resistant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    I agree with Jutfrank that "embedded question," in the sense in which I and probably also Paul Matthews are using it, is equivalent to "embedded interrogative clause," and that such clauses are not always or even mostly used to report actual questions that have been asked.
    If there is no actual question, then I still can't see the need to refer to it as an "embedded interrogative clause" .

    My interpretation of what Paul Matthews has in mind, in the explanation of his that you have cited, is that [2] reports the act of supplying a value for a variable, namely, the variable denoted by the embedded interrogative clause "where John lived."
    At that stage I gave up.


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