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  1. #1
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    question (urgent!)

    The sentences:

    Units of language carry meaning. Human language differs from animal language not only in the unique way in which it uses sound, the substance of expression, but also in the enormous amount of variation in content that its formal structure permits.

    Question#1:(about "the substance of expression")

    If I say "tdol, the editor of usingenglish.com, is working hard.", then "the editor of usingenglish.com" is a restatement of "tdol" (i.e. tdol=the editor of usingenglish.com). On the other hand, if I say "English, Psychology are my favorite subjects", obviously "English, Psychology" are just a series of items (i.e. English‡Psychology).

    Now, about "the substance of expression" in the sentence. Is it a restatement of "sound"? Or is "sound, the substance of expression" are just a series of items?

    To me, it seems like a series of items; "substance" means "meaning" or "content" there in the sentence, and therefore it's not a restatement of "sound".

    Question#2:(about the relative pronoun "that")

    Which word does the relative pronoun "that" refer to, "content" or "variation"? IMO, it's "content" but a friend of mine insists it's "variation".

  2. #2
    Susie Smith Guest

    Re: question (urgent!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    The sentences:

    Units of language carry meaning. Human language differs from animal language not only in the unique way in which it uses sound, the substance of expression, but also in the enormous amount of variation in content that its formal structure permits.

    Question#1:(about "the substance of expression")

    If I say "tdol, the editor of usingenglish.com, is working hard.", then "the editor of usingenglish.com" is a restatement of "tdol" (i.e. tdol=the editor of usingenglish.com). On the other hand, if I say "English, Psychology are my favorite subjects", obviously "English, Psychology" are just a series of items (i.e. English‡Psychology).

    Now, about "the substance of expression" in the sentence. Is it a restatement of "sound"? Or is "sound, the substance of expression" are just a series of items?

    To me, it seems like a series of items; "substance" means "meaning" or "content" there in the sentence, and therefore it's not a restatement of "sound".

    Question#2:(about the relative pronoun "that")

    Which word does the relative pronoun "that" refer to, "content" or "variation"? IMO, it's "content" but a friend of mine insists it's "variation".
    Question#1
    "tdol, the editor of usingenglish.com, is working hard."
    You are right - "the editor of usingenglish.com" is an appositive and as such, it is set off by commas.

    Your second example is incorrect. It should be "English and psychology are my favorite subjects". You never use a comma if you mention just two items.

    In the text, "the substance of expression" is an appositive or, in another words, a restatement of "sound". In this phrase "substance" means "essential nature" or "essence".

    :wink:

  3. #3
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Re: question (urgent!)

    Thanks, Susie. :D

    What about the question #2?

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