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Thread: who & whom


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    #31

    Re: who & whom

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    That makes 'who is clever' a noun clause. (An adjective cannot be the object of a verb)


    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    Now tell me what words you wish to use to make the adjectival clause. There are none left!!


    I like my friend who I think is clever.

    adj clause = who I think is clever
    NP, object of 'think' = (that) who is clever

    Nobody does any double duty in the sentence, IMO.



    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    You do agree that in any given sentence a grammatical entity can only fulfill one purpose? A noun cannot be at the same time an adjective?
    YouTube - Abba - I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do

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    #32

    Re: who & whom

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    One last question then Soup:

    Can you name the object of I think in who I think is clever and if you can, will you enlighten me as to which particular clause?
    No problem.


    The verb think takes a clause as its object, namely the clause "e is clever":

    • She likes my friend who I think e is clever.
    In our example my friend is the antecedent of the relative clause who I think e is clever; who is the relative pronoun. The relative clause always contains a gap - e - which is the trace of the relative pronoun.

    Now, the question you should be asking isn't, "What is the object of the verb think?", as we already know its object is the clause e is clever. The question you should have been asking all along given that you found the gap yourself, is, "What is the subject of the verb is?", as not only it is that subject position which is empty (e), but it is also the subject position from which who moved, and which determines whether to use who or whom.

    In sum, don't diagram from left to right. Language is not linear--writing only makes it so. Find the verbs, then their subjects, then their objects or complements, as all of those are the bones, so to speak, that make up the skeletal structure. Everything else is cosmetic.

    For example, in diagramming the sentence in question, the first thing I tell my students is to look for the verbs, as they are the nuclei of the sentence.


    STEP 1 <look for the verbs>


    • She likes my friend who I think is clever.


    Now, if my students (a) know their constituent structure, nd (b) know their syntactic principles, they'll notice the verb string think is isn't a constituent pattern in English; moreover, given the principle that every verb must have a subject, be it realized or not, they'll notice that the verb is is missing its subject; that there's a gap in the syntax, and that they should stop and find out what's missing.

    Now, if they don't know their constituent structure or their syntactic principles, they should go on to the next step:


    STEP 2 <look for their subjects>

    • She likes my friend who I think ___ is clever.

    Subjects: She, I, ___??
    See the gap?


    Step 3 <mark the gap with e for empty>

    • She likes my friend who I think e is clever.


    Now they are ready to diagram the sentence.

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    #33

    Re: who & whom

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    That makes 'who is clever' a noun clause. (An adjective cannot be the object of a verb)
    A noun clause is headed by a noun. Who is a pronoun; it can't head a noun clause. (Uhm, an adjective can indeed be the object of a verb; e.g., Feed the poor), in form, but it cannot function as the object of a verb.

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    #34

    Re: who & whom

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    My point with 'Only the good men die young' was simply: the good cannot be two things at once: a noun and an adjective.
    By function, no; that's right; by description, yes, of course it can, and it does.

    One of the very first things students of linguistics learn is that every word has a form (what is looks like) and a function (what is does in a sentence). Which makes good in Only the good die young "two things at once". It's (1) an adjective in form and (2) a noun in function.

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    #35

    Re: who & whom

    Hi svartnik

    You're description is correct, of course. Note, however, that who is clever is not housed in the example,


    • I like my friend who I think is clever.

    which is why Pedroski is having trouble understanding your explanation here: "'who is clever' is the object of the verb 'think' in the subordinate clause."


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    #36

    Re: who & whom

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Hi svartnik

    You're description is correct, of course.
    Substiture "on this rare occasion" for "of course" and the sentence will be starting to make sense to me.
    Actually, I am more often wrong than I am not not.
    I had always been of the opinion, for example, that apposition means apposed NPs. You remember that long thread which PEdro started? Actually, not only NPs may be apposed in an apposition, contrary to what I had stated there.


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    #37

    Re: who & whom

    Well, I am still not convinced, and I shall elaborate. This is getting to be fun!

    I think he is clever.
    This sentence has an unspoken unwritten that before he.

    It is not the that of a relative clause, as there is no antecedent. It does not refer to 'I', nor 'think', nor I 'think.'

    I think (that phrase again!) it is called an 'expletive that'. It shall come to haunt you!

    I think who is clever is actually I think that who is clever?

    So, move who, you could also move that.

    that who I think (trace) is clever.

    ?She likes my friend that who I think is clever.

    Or leave it there:

    ?She likes my friend who I think that is clever.

    The diagrams I referred to are the Kelloggs cornflakes type, in Reed boxes.

    Try and draw 'who I think is clever'

    Call it two clauses, 'I think' and 'who is clever'. What then is the connection between them? Where is 'I think' bound to 'who is clever'?

    'I think' is stuck between who and is. As I said above, replace it with 'in my opinion' and it works. But 'I think' cannot be a modifier of 'who'.
    Leave the unwritten 'that' in there, and it gets even more unmanageable.

    The original 'sentence' is not a sentence, and that is why it is causing problems.

    'She likes my friend whom I think clever' is, and can easily be drawn.

    Ding ding, next round!




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    #38

    Re: who & whom

    Welcome WRISOFT.NET (a.k.a. Pedroski?)

    It has already been established that that does not contribute meaning in this example, I think that he is clever; that it fills a vacant syntactic slot, and that it is used as a conjunction to connect a subordinate clause to a preceding verb--in the literature, it is sometimes referred to as expletive that, from Latin to fill, but the term is awkward today (i.e., it's used to refer to it in it is raining, as well as to existential there) and for that reason the term is rarely used, and, moreover, its function and distribution really has nothing to do with the topic of this thread, which, by the way, is whether whom is grammatical here:

    • She likes my friend whom I think is clever.

    It has already been established that whom is the wrong relative pronoun for that construct: it should be who because who is the semantic subject of the embedded clause e is clever:

    Input:
    I think my friend is clever.

    Step 1
    Movement: my friend I think e is clever

    Step 2
    WH-replacement: who I think e is clever

    Output: ... who I think is clever.
    If you are going to maintain that whom is grammatical in that construct, then you're going to have to prove it.

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    #39

    Re: who & whom

    Don't know who wrisoft net is but it ain't me!

    Thanks for your long and tiring efforts with me. As you see, and I have noted before, I don't just take things as writ just because someone says it is so. Think I'm almost there. Looks like I need to learn the whole of Linguistics first.
    Those tree diagrams of Chomsky's look daunting though.
    Anyone recommend me a good book on tree diagrams?

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    #40

    Re: who & whom

    Hey Soup, you better get on to Wikipedia, this is their info on Noun Clause:

    Noun clause

    A noun clause can be used the same way as a noun.[1] It can be a subject, predicate nominative, direct object, appositive, indirect object, or object of the preposition. Some of the words that introduce noun clauses are that, whether, who, why, whom, what, how, when, whoever, where, and whomever. Notice that some of these words also introduce adjective and adverbial clauses. To check whether a clause is a noun clause, try substituting the appropriate pronoun (he, she, it, or they).

    Examples:

    * I know who said that. (I know it.)
    * Whoever said it is wrong. (He is wrong.)

    Sometimes a noun clause is used without the introductory word.

    Example:

    * I know that he is here.
    * I know he is here. (without "that")

    No nouns to be seen, only pronouns!

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