You should go to the park every afternoon "that" the weather is nice.

sitifan

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You should go to the park every afternoon that the weather is nice. (Idiom Drills, by George P. McCallum, page 26)

In the above sentence, is the word "that" a relative adverb?
 

Phaedrus

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You should go to the park every afternoon that the weather is nice. (Idiom Drills, by George P. McCallum, page 26)

In the above sentence, is the word "that" a relative adverb?

Well, it's not a relative pronoun; it can't be replaced by which there. :)
 

sitifan

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1. I'll never forget the day when I first met you. (by Michael Swan)
2. I'll never forget the day on which I first met you. (by Michael Swan)
3. I'll never forget the day that I first met you. (written by me)
4. I'll never forget the day I first met you. (written by me)
Are #3 and #4 also acceptable?
 

slevlife

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sitifan

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1. I'll never forget the day when I first met you. (by Michael Swan)
2. I'll never forget the day on which I first met you. (by Michael Swan)
3. I'll never forget the day that I first met you. (written by me)
4. I'll never forget the day I first met you. (written by me)
In #1, "when" is a relative adverb. In #3, is "that" a relative adverb?
 

Tarheel

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It looks like it to me.
 

Phaedrus

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In #1, "when" is a relative adverb. In #3, is "that" a relative adverb?

It would be rather strange to call it a relative adverb, given that relative adverbs can also function as interrogative adverbs, but "that" cannot:

Christmas was the day when we first met.
When did you first meet?

Christmas was the day that we first met.
*[strike]That did you first meet?[/strike]

I don't know if the lexical category "complementizer" is recognized at this forum, but that is what I would call the type of "that" in question.
 

TheParser

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In #3, is "that" a relative adverb?


NOT A TEACHER

Sitifan, here is an explanation from one of my favorite grammars.

"I remember the time [my note: or any other noun denoting time, such as "day"] that you fell out of the apple tree."

1. "That" is a relative pronoun.

2. It is being used in its adjective clause "as an adverbial modifier in the sense of 'at which,' 'in which,' or 'on which.' "

3. In other words, "I remember the time at which you fell out of the apple tree."

a. "That" ("at which") modifies the verb "fell."

Source: Pence and Emery, A Grammar of Present-Day English (1947), pages 171 and 225.
 

Tarheel

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You can often dispense with "that" entirely. Example:

I remember the time you fell out of the apple tree.
 

Phaedrus

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1. "That" is a relative pronoun.

2. It is being used in its adjective clause "as an adverbial modifier in the sense of 'at which,' 'in which,' or 'on which.' "

3. In other words, "I remember the time at which you fell out of the apple tree."

a. "That" ("at which") modifies the verb "fell."

Source: Pence and Emery, A Grammar of Present-Day English (1947), pages 171 and 225.

If "that" can function as the grammatical equivalent of "on which" in "You can go to the park every afternoon that the weather is nice," why can't it also do so in (iv) below?

(i) This is the table which I put the book on.
(ii) This is the table that I put the book on.

(iii) This is the table on which I put the book.
(iv) *[strike]This is the table that I put the book.[/strike]

If "that" can mean "on which" when "that" functions as (or as if it were) a relative pronoun, it should be able to do so in sentences like (iv) as well, shouldn't it?
 

Rover_KE

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#2 sounds formal or old fashioned (or maybe British?)

Not so. Most Brits would say 'I'll never forget the day I first met you'.
 
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5jj

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Well, it's not a relative pronoun; it can't be replaced by which there. :)
As I said in this thread, there an argument for saying that that is in a different sub-class of relative pronouns from who and which. The fact that that cannot always be replaced by which (or the other way round) does not in itself mean they are in different word classes.
 

5jj

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It would be rather strange to call it a relative adverb, given that relative adverbs can also function as interrogative adverbs, but "that" cannot
That's true only if you make it one of the defining characteristics of relative adverbs that they must be able to function as interrogative adverbs.
I don't know if the lexical category "complementizer" is recognized at this forum, but that is what I would call the type of "that" in question.
No lexical category is not 'recognised'. However, I thought that that as complementiser was the that in, for example, He said that he was happy, in which the that clause functions in a similar way to an object or, in other sentences, a subject.
 
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jutfrank

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I'm not completely sure that the sentence is grammatical.

It looks to me as if the the that-clause is modifying the NP every afternoon, so I can't see how it's a complement clause.
 

TheParser

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(iv) *[strike]This is the table that I put the book.[/strike]

If "that" can mean "on which" when "that" functions as (or as if it were) a relative pronoun, it should be able to do so in sentences like (iv) as well, shouldn't it?

NOT A TEACHER


Hi, Phaedrus.

1. I think that Pence and Emery were telling us that "that" can equal a prepositional phrase when the adjective clause refers to an indication of "time' or "day."

2. Your sentence is, I believe, referring to place.

a. I did find a fascinating comment from the world-famous grammarian Otto Jespersen, who said that "that" was formerly used in that sense in older English. He gave this example from Kipling: "They are taken up mountains, anywhere that a mule can find a road." He cites a dictionary as calling that use of "that" as now "slipshod." And he was writing before World War II. Essentials of English Grammar (1964 reprint), page 364.
 

Phaedrus

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It would be rather strange to call it a relative adverb, given that relative adverbs can also function as interrogative adverbs, but "that" cannot:
That's true only if you make it one of the defining characteristics of relative adverbs that they must be able to function as interrogative adverbs.

OK, but perhaps it is not a mere coincidence in English that ALL the words that function indisputably as relative adverbs (when, where, how, why) also function indisputably as interrogative adverbs, especially since both types of words are generally understood to have a syntactic role within the clauses they introduce. I shall now explore this at some length. Please forgive me for the mini-essay that follows.

In the formal sentences Whom did John punch? and Tom is the man whom John punched, the word whom, regardless of whether it is the interrogative pronoun or the relative pronoun, is understood to function as the direct object of punch(ed); indeed, it is because of this function of whom within each type of clause that speakers who wish to speak very formally are grammatically entitled to use whom rather than who in those sentences and be formally correct in doing so.

Similarly, in the sentences When do they go to church? and Sunday is the day when they go to church, the word when, regardless of whether it is the interrogative adverb or the relative adverb, functions as an adverbial modifier/adjunct within the clause they go to church, in the same way that the prepositional phrase on Sundays functions as an adverbial adjunct in They go to church on Sundays and the word then functions as an adverbial adjunct in They go to church then.

It might give us pause, then, in our rush to deem that a relative pronoun or relative adverb in sentences like Sunday is the day that they go to church (a) that the word that bears no resemblance to a word like then and (b) that it is ungrammatical to try to use that as an interrogative adverb (*[strike]That do they go to church?[/strike]) even though (all?) words that function as relative adverbs also function as interrogative adverbs. We might even question whether that plays any semantic role in those clauses at all.

No lexical category is not 'recognised'. However, I thought that that as complementiser was the that in, for example, He said that he was happy, in which the that clause functions in a similar way to an object or, in other sentences, a subject.

In mainstream generative grammar, that is indeed parsed as a complementizer in sentences like He said that he was happy. It is also parsed as a complementizer in sentences like That he was happy was well known, His statement that he was happy was not believed by everyone, He was happy that she was there, and The man that was happy was the only happy one in the group. It is not parsed as a complementizer in sentences like That was nice, That man was nice, or He wasn't really all that nice.

Interestingly, in infinitival clauses, it is the word for that functions as a complementizer, but it shows up (in modern English) only when the infinitival clause has an overt subject. Thus, if we wished to add a subject to the infinitival relative clauses in the Bible verse "To every thing there is a season . . . A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance" (Ecclesiastes, chapter 3, verses 1 and 4, King James Version), we would also need to add for:

a time for people to weep
a time for them to laugh
a time for them to mourn
a time for them to dance

Notice that we would not say that for is either a relative pronoun or a relative adverb in such phrases (or ever!). It could be that at one time it was possible to have relative adverbs in infinitival relatives without for (? a time when to dance), but that clearly doesn't work in modern English. It would be far worse, however, to try to include for: *! [strike]a time when for people to dance[/strike]. Now, what about these noun phrases?

a time when people dance
a time that people dance
a time at which people dance


Each of those noun phrases contains a finite relative clause, and of course finite relative clauses always have subjects. Thus, we can't say that that serves the function of allowing us to inject the subject of the relative clause (people). But is that really any more meaningful in there than for is in the infinitival relatives? The fact that we can omit it altogether and still have the same meaning (a time people dance) suggests that it likewise contributes absolutely nothing to meaning.
 
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5jj

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In mainstream generative grammar, that is indeed parsed as a complementizer in sentences like He said that he was happy. It is also parsed as a complementizer in sentences like That he was happy was well known, His statement that he was happy was not believed by everyone, He was happy that she was there, and The man that was happy was the only happy one in the group. It is not parsed as a complementizer in sentences like That was nice, That man was nice, or He wasn't really all that nice.
Before we go on, it might be useful to know how you understand the word complementiz(/s)er. Your understanding seems to be different from mine. As I said in post 13, I thought that that as complementiser was the that in, for example, He said that he was happy, in which the that clause functions in a similar way to an object or, in other sentences, a subject.

That is clearly OK for He said that he was happy and That he was happy was well known.

I don't think it works for His statement that he was happy was not believed by everyone or He was happy that she was there.

It is clearly not OK for The man that was happy was the only happy one in the group.

So, what is a complementiz(/s)er?
 

sitifan

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You should go to the park every afternoon that the weather is nice. (Idiom Drills, by George P. McCallum, page 26)
Are the sentences below acceptable to native speakers?
5. You should go to the park every afternoon when the weather is nice.
6. You should go to the park every afternoon on which the weather is nice.
 

Phaedrus

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Before we go on, it might be useful to know how you understand the word complementiz(/s)er.
The syntactician from whom I first learned of complementizers (I just embedded a link to the Wikipedia article) said, smilingly, that he once had a student who described/defined them as "sentence injectors," which isn't a bad characterization of them. They simply introduce dependent clauses, sometimes obligatorily, other times optionally. Their function is purely syntactic; they contribute nothing to meaning.

You might object: "But what about words like before, after, because, and until? They introduce clauses, too, and they do have meaning." And that is true. Traditional grammar calls such words, as well as the type of that with which we are dealing, "subordinating conjunctions." In modern grammar, those other words are now deemed prepositions, prepositions that can be complemented by a finite clause. Historically, they even co-occurred with complementizer that; for example:

"And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes . . ." (Genesis 13:14).

". . . in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws" (Genesis 26:5, KJV).

Your understanding seems to be different from mine. As I said in post 13, I thought that that as complementiser was the that in, for example, He said that he was happy, in which the that clause functions in a similar way to an object or, in other sentences, a subject.

That is clearly OK for He said that he was happy and That he was happy was well known.

Yes, I'm fine with thinking of such that-clauses like that, though many people would now call the one in He said that he was happy a complement clause instead of a clausal direct object. In any case, when we look at the that-clause itself, what function does that perform in it? It doesn't function as subject (he) or complement (happy) or verb (was) within the clause it introduces, and it has no meaning. It does nothing but introduce the clause and render it subordinate within the superordinate clause.

I don't think it works for His statement that he was happy was not believed by everyone or He was happy that she was there.
Well, you haven't actually given me a definition of "complementizer." You just indicated that you understood complementizer that to be the that in that-clauses which complement verbs and in those which function as subjects within a superordinate clause. In my definition, a complementizer serves solely to introduce a dependent clause and contributes nothing to meaning, which is exactly the role that that serves in clauses that complement nouns and adjectives, as in those examples.

It is clearly not OK for The man that was happy was the only happy one in the group.

This is where I have to fight the hardest to convince traditionalists of the complementizer status of clausal that -- where it appears to function as a relative pronoun. Where I learned formal syntax, one of my professors (Sandra Chung) expressly stated that she hoped none of us believed, by that point in the term, that that was a relative pronoun in that-relative clauses, and asked us to raise our hand if we needed this illusion to be beaten out of us harder (well, she didn't put it quite like that ;-)).

The two main arguments for not analyzing that as a relative pronoun (at least that I remember, no pun intended) in that-relatives are its inability to work with Pied Piping (This is the table on which I put the book versus *This is the table on that I put the book) and the fact that, historically, that could (and did sometimes) co-occur with relative pronouns in relative clauses, in precisely the same manner in which they co-occur (but with one silenced) in modern syntax trees.

"He which that hath no wyf, I holde hym shent;" (CT IV.1320, The Cambridge History of the English Language, Volume 2 [1066-1476], p. 302).

To those two arguments I have lately sought to add some arguments of my own, in this thread and in the one to which you linked earlier.
 
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slevlife

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Are the sentences below acceptable to native speakers?
5. You should go to the park every afternoon when the weather is nice.
6. You should go to the park every afternoon on which the weather is nice.

Don't use #6. Like the previous sentence where you used "on which," it sounds overly formal or old-fashioned, and it's even less appropriate for speech (since speech is less formal).

#5 is okay, but it can hypothetically change the meaning to a specific time period ("when the whether is nice") during every afternoon. It's very unlikely to be read that way in practice, but the potential alternative meaning makes it slightly harder to parse. But this might just be a personal problem!

I'd just drop the word. But I'd be more likely to say one of these:

- You should go to the park whenever it's nice in the afternoon. -- Alas, this is not quite as precise that you mean "every afternoon."
- You should go to the park on (all the) afternoons when it's nice out. -- "All the" is optional but makes it more precise. You can also optionally drop on or when, but it's harder to follow the sentence if you drop both. Note that "afternoons when" is a common-ish colocation so it doesn't suffer the same parsing problem as "every afternoon when."
 
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