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

Tdol

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5jj

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You made quite a few points in post 19 Phaedrus. In order to avoid a long post with lots of QUOTE boxes, I'll try to respond one point at a time - in separate posts.

[...] complementizers[...] They simply introduce dependent clauses, sometimes obligatorily, other times optionally. Their function is purely syntactic; they contribute nothing to meaning.

Surely in The man that was happy was the only happy one in the group 'that' does contribute to the meaning. It carries as much meaning as 'he' in One man was happy; he was the only happy man in the group or 'who' inThe man who was happy was the only happy one in the group.[/QUOTE]
 

5jj

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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.
Rather than the words I have underlined, I'd say 'In some schools of grammar in recent years' I have several objections to the classification of such words as prepositions, but consideration of those would take us too far from the topic of this thread

Historically, they even co-occurred with complementizer that

How words were used in 1611 is not something we should consider in discussing how they are used in 2021.
 

5jj

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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.
Fine. I have always considered the 'that' in such sentences as He said that he was happy a very different animal from the one i think of as a relative pronoun - so different that they are members of different word classes.
 

5jj

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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. [...]

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)
I have said elsewhere, that relative 'that' is perhaps in a different sub-class. The fact that relative 'that' does not work with pied-piping excludes 'that' in This is the book that I am reading or This is the book that interests me only if you somewhat arbitrarily make pied-piping an essential defining characteristic of relative pronouns. The 'that' in those sentences has far more in common with the 'which' in This is the book which I am reading or This is the book which interests me than it does with the 'that' in He said that he was happy. One major difference is that relative 'that' has an antecedent; subordinating/complementising 'that' doesn't.

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.
The way words were used in 1320 should not influence the way we analyse their use in 2021.
 

Phaedrus

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Surely in The man that was happy was the only happy one in the group 'that' does contribute to the meaning. It carries as much meaning as 'he' in One man was happy; he was the only happy man in the group or 'who' inThe man who was happy was the only happy one in the group.

One major difference is that relative 'that' has an antecedent; subordinating/complementising 'that' doesn't.

Considering the existence of zero relative clauses (The man she likes is here), in which we find no word with an antecedent, it would appear, at the very least, that not all relative clauses require such a word to be grammatical. Why, then, should we assume that that in The man that she likes is here has the same meaning as whom in The man whom she likes is here, especially in light of the fact that it was possible, in earlier English, to have sentences like The man whom that she likes is here?

Could we not say, rather, that in sentences like The man that she likes is here we have a zero relative clause introduced with a complementizer? In each case, we could say that the relative pronoun (whom) has been silenced. As to the objection that we don't find zero relative clauses where the relative pronoun is the subject of the relative clause, I would point out that we do, once in a while, even if they are not regarded as fully standard. Here is an example from the musical Les Misérables:

"They were schoolboys never held a gun,
Fighting for a new world
That would rise up like the sun."

-
Les Misérables, libretto, p. 87
 

5jj

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Considering the existence of zero relative clauses (The man she likes is here), in which we find no word with an antecedent, it would appear, at the very least, that not all relative clauses require such a word to be grammatical.
I don't know of anyone who disputes that.
Why, then, should we assume that that in The man that she likes is here has the same meaning as whom in The man whom she likes is here,
I shall continue to assume that until somebody can demonstrate clearly that they have different meanings.
especially in light of the fact that it was possible, in earlier English, to have sentences like The man whom that she likes is here?
That is not relevant to modern English.
Could we not say, rather, that in sentences like The man that she likes is here we have a zero relative clause introduced with a complementizer? In each case, we could say that the relative pronoun (whom) has been silenced.
As it's not possible to 'unsilence' the relative pronoun (*The man whom that she likes is here) I see no point in inventing a silenced version.

As to the objection that we don't find zero relative clauses where the relative pronoun is the subject of the relative clause, I would point out that we do, once in a while, even if they are not regarded as fully standard. Here is an example from the musical Les Misérables:
I don't think a libretto is the best place to look for examples of English. However, I accept, like H & P, that such examples as There's someone at the door wants to talk to you can be found in some varieties of English. I agree with H & P that 'Most such cases are clearly non-standard' or 'fall at the boundary between very informal and non-standard'. I don't think we can use non-standard English to justify theories about standard English.
 

Phaedrus

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I shall continue to assume that until somebody can demonstrate clearly that they have different meanings.

Just to be clear, having meaning here simply means having an antecedent. I am asking why we should assume that that has an antecedent in a that-relative clause, when zero relatives are grammatical and do not contain a relative pronoun. Couldn't that simply be a complementizer, an extraneous addition to a zero relative clause, at least in a relative clause whose gap is in object position?

As you say, zero relatives with the gap in subject positions tend to be nonstandard, despite the fact that examples such as the one I quoted have been appreciated as acceptable English by wildly enthusiastic, educated audiences worldwide for over three decades. I suspect that the reason zero relatives tend not to be perceived as grammatical is psycholinguistic, having to do with a miscue. In The man likes her is here, we can't tell whether there's a typo or a zero relative clause.

That is not relevant to modern English.

As it's not possible to 'unsilence' the relative pronoun (*The man whom that she likes is here) I see no point in inventing a silenced version.

Technically, Shakespeare is Modern English (Early Modern English), and so is Edmond Spenser's Faerie Queene. It occurred to me that, in free relative clauses, known to traditionalists as one of many types of "noun clause," we might find examples of the relative pronouns with the -ever suffix followed by complementizer that, and, indeed, it is not hard to find such examples online. Try Googling "to whomever that it may concern," for example. Here's an example I found in The Faerie Queene:

"And that vile Knight, whoever that he be,
Which hath thy Lady reft, and knighthood shent,
By Sanglemort my sword, whose deadly dent
The blood of so many thousands hath shed,
I swear, ere long shall dearly it repent" (
source).

- Edmund Spenser
 

5jj

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Just to be clear, having meaning here simply means having an antecedent. I am asking why we should assume that that has an antecedent in a that-relative clause, when zero relatives are grammatical and do not contain a relative pronoun.
When relative who and which are the subject of the relative clause you allow an antecedent. Relative that is no different, but you don't allow an antecedent. Interesting
Couldn't that simply be a complementizer, an extraneous addition to a zero relative clause, at least in a relative clause whose gap is in object position?
I use Occam's razor I find it more straightforward to say that relative who(m). which and that can be omitted when in object position than to rely on an ether- like
weightless, transparent, frictionless, undetectable chemically or physically 'complementizer' that appears only as an invisible gap.

As you say, zero relatives with the gap in subject positions tend to be nonstandard, despite the fact that examples such as the one I quoted have been appreciated as acceptable English by wildly enthusiastic, educated audiences worldwide for over three decades.
Is you is or is you ain't serious?

I suspect that the reason zero relatives tend not to be perceived as grammatical is psycholinguistic, having to do with a miscue.
In place of the words I have underlined, I would use are almost universally perceived as ungrammatical.
In The man likes her is here, we can't tell whether there's a typo or a zero relative clause.
Most of us can.



Technically, Shakespeare is Modern English (Early Modern English), and so is Edmond Spenser's Faerie Queene.
Whan that I do peruse those words, methinks the sapient Phaedrus hath a poynte, the which poynte doth make sport of mine own. Verily I mote hie me hence ere I vanquisht bee.
 

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Notice that we would not say that for is either a relative pronoun or a relative adverb in such phrases (or ever!).
What does the phrase "or ever" mean in the above sentence?
 

jutfrank

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What does the phrase "or ever" mean in the above sentence?

The logic is this:

We would not say that for is either a relative pronoun or adverb in such phrases.
We would not say that for is either a relative pronoun or adverb in any other phrases.

In other words, we would not say that for is ever a relative pronoun or adverb.
 
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