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RELATIVE CLAUSES 5.1.

Relative Clauses and Other Kinds of Relatives By relative clauses we understand:  all the wh-complements mentioned in the previous section.  other kinds of relative clauses such as  that relatives (those relative clauses introduced by THAT) (1) This is a gift that you fully deserve. (Acesta este un cadou pe care îl meriţi pe deplin.)  participial relatives (2) The fellow wearing those odd clothes is Jane’s husband. (Bărbatul în haine ciudate este soţul lui Jane.)  infinitival relatives (3) I need some tools with which to fix the car. (Am nevoie de unelte cu care să repar maşina.) We will mainly focus on wh-complements leaving aside other kinds of relatives and cleft sentences. 5.2. The Co-reference Condition - a discussion of attributive relatives As we shall see, relative clauses can have more than one syntactical function. The best known function, normally associated with relative clauses is that of Attribute. We shall first discuss relative clauses functioning as attributes in order to establish the mechanism that grants their existence. These relative clauses represent a type of subordination that is based on the fact that the main clause and the subordinate clause share a nominal constituent. Consider the following: (4) I met a woman. John loves that woman.

By combining these two clauses, we obtain (5) I met a woman whom John loves. (Am cunoscut o femeie pe care o iubeşte John.)

What has happened? The common element woman appears in the main clause only and is resumed by the relative pronoun introducing the second clause. We presuppose that the phrase the woman in the second clause under (4) has been transformed into a relative constituent (it has been relativized) and moved at the beginning of the clause to link it to the previous one. The place where the phrase the woman used to stand has remained empty, like a gap: (6) I met a woman whom John loves _____.

Since the phrase a woman and the relative pronoun whom under (6) refer to the same object, we can co-index them (that is we place the same index under each of them): (7) I met a womani whomi John loves _____.

(Cine păcătuieşte mult va suferi. The resulting structure can have two forms: (10) a. I met a womani to whomi John had offered flowers ti In point of terminology.) Under (11) the relative subordinate finds its antecedent in the main clause: the phrase the man. so the co-reference condition (that the two clauses should have co-referring elements) is observed. The element that has been moved in front position and transformed into a relative pronoun is called the relativized constituent.But how do we mark the fact that the verb loves used to have a direct object right after it that has been moved up front? We place the same index under the letter t (that stands for trace): (8) I met a womani whomi John loves ti.e. The Classification of Relative Clauses According to the criterion of form. we call the nominal that the relative clause refers to the antecedent of the relative clause. by leaving behind a trace. Let us supply an example where the relative pronoun functions as a prepositional object: (9) I met a woman. The relative pronoun preserves its function of a direct object within the relative subordinate. i. The mechanism that allows for the appearance of relative attributive clauses is movement: the movement of the relativized constituent in initial position.) . The common element woman is present. we can clearly indicate that the co-reference condition that stipulated the necessity of a shared nominal for the main clause and the relative attributive clause has been observed. relative clauses are divided into:  dependent relative clauses (clauses that have an overt antecedent. (Acesta este bărbatul pe care îl iubesc. This way. John offered flowers to that woman. 5.  independent relative clauses or Free Relative Clauses (those clauses which lack an overt antecedent. whose main clause contains a nominal that can be co-indexed with the introducing relative pronoun) (11) This is the mani whomi I love.3.) Whoever swims in sin shall swim sorrow. I met a womani whoi John had offered flowers to ti b. that do not have an expressed antecedent in the main clause) (12) (13) Who breaks pays. (Cine strică plăteşte.

only their antecedent is no longer expressed. is no longer overtly expressed. (Cel care strică plăteşte. (Cel care a venit să mă peţească era un zeu.)  Predicative (19) This was what she intended. where we are looking at a more obsolete (i. in a manner of speaking. cannot function as attributes. they offer crucial information about this antecedent. (Aş dori să ştiu ce vrei. as follows:  Subject Free Relative Clause (15) Whoever touches pitch shall be defiled.)  Adverbial (20) Go wherever you want. we can assume that Independent or Free Relative Clauses must have originated from dependent ones. unlike in the case of (14).) So. (Du-te unde pofteşti. They can be thus divided into:  defining or restrictive relative clauses (those dependent relative clauses that identify an antecedent. they currently fulfil the function of subjects or objects. Unlike their sisters.) (Only that particular man that was my suitor looked like a god) .e.)  Indirect Object (the only clauses that can have this function in fact) (17) He gave whoever came to the door a winning smile. (Oferea un zâmbet cuceritor oricui venea la uşa lui. (Trebuie să votezi cu candidatul pe care îl consideri cel mai potrivit.) The second criterion that further classifies relative clauses has to do with meaning and is restricted to dependent relatives only. (21) The man who came to woo me was a god. far-fetched) form of the same sentence: (14) Hei whoi breaks pays.)  Direct Object (16) I would like to know what you need.Example (12) is an instance of a relative clause (introduced by a wh-element) whose antecedent has been deleted. (Asta era ceea ce voise ea. they define it). these relatives. it is covert.)  Prepositional Object (18) You should vote for whichever candidate you think best. (Cine se atinge de smoala va fi întinat.

(Ei apelează la mine. iritabilă şi uscată. care a murit acum câţiva ani.) (28) They come to me. care nici nu muncesc şi nici nu sunt îngrijorat. but a peevish. care-ţi sunt fiu. composed The Bohemian Rhapsody.) (22) Mercury. is my favourite god) The function of non-restrictive relative clauses is that of Appositive attributes. who am not a woman. They only provide supplementary information about it. etc.) (27) Anybody else would have done something except myself. who neither work nor am anxious. îţi văd prea bine defectele. (Freddie Mercury. In conclusion. is my favourite god. a compus The Bohemian Rhapsody. a diagram would sum up the types of relative clauses discussed: Restrictive/defining The man who came to see me is a genius. Non-restrictive/non-defining That man. (Eu. who is the god of commerce. They can be followed only by non-restrictive ones (appositions): (26) I.): (24) (25) The Freddie Mercury I knew was a rock-star. Their meaning is also reinforced by orthography. dried-up old maid. who am your son.4 Restrictions Imposed On The Relative Clause by the Determiner of the Antecedent When the antecedent has no determiner. (Oricine ar fi acţionat.) I know a Freddie Mercury who gives piano lessons. ci o fată bătrână morocănoasă. who incidentally is the god of commerce. non-defining or non-restrictive or appositive relative clauses (those dependent relative clauses that do not offer crucial information about the antecedent.) First and second person pronouns do not normally take restrictive relative clauses. who came to see me. and by the intonation the speaker uses in uttering the whole sentence. (Mercur.) When combined with a restrictive relative clause. care este zeul negoţului. numai eu nu. it can only be followed by a non-defining relative clause (an apposition): (23) ∅ Freddie Mercury. is a genius. Dependent Relative clauses Independent 5. ill-tempered.) . a. Whoever came to see me was a genius. who died a few years ago. (Freddie Mercury pe care-l cunosteam eu era o vedeta rock. este zeul meu favorit.) (Mercury. can see your shortcomings only too well. (Cunosc un Freddie Mercury care dă lecţii de pian. care nu sunt o femeie. the proper name is recategorized into a common name and receives its own determiner (the.

) Aside from these marginal examples. The woman who came to see my painting was the Queen itself. (Era înclinat spre stări schimbătoare. şi puţini oameni îl întreceau la asta. each of which has evolved its own system of harmony.1. 5. We shall briefly have a look at the most important ones. (Femeia căreia i-ai arătat tabloul era Regina. părăsi camera. (33) He consulted his watch at 10-minute intervals. (Era un fanatic al mersului cu trenul. ale căror ultime note de harpă le auzise. (Cine râde la urmă râde mai bine. şi fiecare din aceste stări îşi dobândise propriul sistem de armonie. Relative Pronouns Who [+human] with its case forms whom [+human] and whose [± human]: (36) a. (Regina africană se năpusti spre lac să redobândească cele pentru care trecuseră prin atâtea pericole şi avuseseră parte de atâta trudă.) (35) The compositions of Cardan. (Femeia care a venit să îmi vadă tabloul era Regina însăşi. were now in his possession. In literary English they may sometimes be found later in the sentence:  after a present participle (30) … saying which he left the room (… care lucruri fiind spuse.)  after an infinitive (31) The African queen issued forth upon the Lake to gain which they had run such dangers and undergone such toils. some of the last notes of whose harp he heard.)  As the object of a preposition and after than: (32) late. The woman to whom you showed the painting was the Queen.) b. than whom few more can be more crashing.) .Third person pronouns however do accept restrictive relative clauses: (29) He who laughs last laughs best (archaic).) He was a railway fanatic. in spite of which the service finished (Se uita la ceas din zece în zece minute. (Compoziţiile lui Cardan.5.) 5. erau acum în posesia lui. relative clause introducers retain their clause initial position.5 Relative Clause Introducers Relative clause introducers are usually placed at the beginning of the relative clause. şi cu toate acestea slujba s-a terminat târziu.)  Sometimes the preposition can have partitive value: (34) He was prone to an inevitable series of moods.

The book the cover of which I lost was very expensive.) b. literary style: (37) a.c. which art in Heaven … (Tatăl nostru carele eşti în ceruri…) When a personal denotation refers not to an individual. but these ones are even more infrequent than those illustrated under (37b): (38) …as if she were being gradually cornered by a cruelty of which he was the almost unconscious agent. The genitive form with which is still in use. (Cartea a cărei copertă am pierdut-o era foarte scumpă.) d. too. but it is typical of the formal. The book whose cover I lost was very expensive.) Which [-human] (39) The story which he claimed to have told was too fantastic for my taste.) (37b) is an example of relative clause introduced by a genitival pronoun where there is a form of inversion imposed by the presence of the genitive form of which.) Whose appears as the appropriate genitive form for both [+human] and [-human] objects. (Povestea pe care pretindea că a spus-o era prea fantastică pentru gustul meu. but to a type or a function: (43) a. (Tabloul al cărui cumpărător era arăta minunat. The painting whose buyer she was looked marvelous. The woman whose painting I sold was very young. (Iris Murdoch. (Cartea a cărei coperta am pierdut-o era foarte scumpă.) There are a few exceptions when which can acquire the feature [+human]: When which has a partitive value: (40) Which of the two men is nicer? (Care dintre ei este mai drăguţ?) However in rhetorical question who is still preferred: (41) Who of us will stain his hands with murder? (Cine dintre noi îşi va mânji mâinile cu o crimă?) with archaic value: (42) Our Father. An Accidental Man) (… de parcă era încet-încet încolţită de o cruzime al cărei agent aproape inconştient era el. . (Femeia al cărui tablou l-am vândut era foarte tânără. as can be seen in (36d). There are situations when inversion is not obligatory. Shaw is commonly regarded more as a funny man than as the revolutionary which at bottom he is.

ships (that can be personified) (46) a.) The rare occasions when what functions as an introducer of restrictive relative clauses. (Acesta era un trib care venise de la Marea Baltică. One can’t expect foreigners to have the same ideas what we have. animals. (Cei bogaţi primesc onoruri. Freud is the analyst which we must enjoy. It is poor what gets the punches. Sejanus seems to have been the father. şi-a luat totuşi nişte precauţii…) what – can normally introduce only free relative clauses: (47) I didn’t know what they wanted. … Asiatic tribes and American tribes which resemble each other. He is not the man which he used to be. cei săraci primesc ponoase.) b. (Nu ştiam ce vor.) Both who and which are used for: collective nouns (45) a. (one cannot expect foreigners to have the same ideas that we have) (Nu poţi să te aştepţi ca străinii să aibă ce idei avem noi. of which. pe care o privea direct. al căror tată se pare că era Sejanus.) b. (Freud este psihanalistul pe care trebuie să-l citim) c. (Nu mai este omul care era odată. … Italy.) dialectal (49) a.) states. (… triburile asiatice şi amerindiene care seamănă între ele.(Shaw este în general privit mai degrabă ca un tip hazliu decât ca revoluţionarul care este în esenţă.) When its genitive form is used to give a very formal tone to the passage (but this is very infrequent): (44) Livia had just been delivered of twin boys. This was a tribe who moved from the Baltic Sea. …the bloke what signs our books … (tipul care ne semnează cărţile) b. (Livia tocmai născuse doi băieţi gemeni. whom it concerned most closely. which entered the war in May 1915 … (…Italia care a intrat în război în mai 1915…) b. … France. it is archaic (48) It is rich what gets the peaches. did however take certain precautions … (… Franţa.) . by the way.

(Ora zece este momentul când ei iau prânzul. They returned to the land whence they had come. (Only the person that behaves in a handsome way can be considered handsome). (Aceasta este cartea care o încântă cel mai mult. (Acesta este locul din care au venit. etc. (O pădure întunecată în care ne pândesc primejdiile. time. Ten o’clock is the time when they have lunch. This is the place wherefrom they came. reason. A system where by a new discovery will arise. never preceded by prepositions and requires an antecedent with the exception of archaic idiomatic contents: (55) Handsome is that handsome does.) b.) 5. (Ora zece este momentul când ei iau prânzul. (Au plecat când s-a hotărât că este potrivit. Poland is the place in which Christine was born.) It is invariable. He went where he had been before. Relative THAT Relative THAT normally appears as the introducer of restrictive relative clauses: (54) This is the book that pleased her most.) (51) When they introduce free relative clauses.) c. Ten o’clock is the time at which they have lunch.They left when they decided it was proper to.2 Relative Adverbs: when.) b. etc. why. their antecedents are nouns expressing places.3. where.) a. no antecedents are required: (52) a. the relative introducer THAT – unlike its pair that introduces complement that-clauses – can have almost any syntactic function within the relative clause: . (Polonia este locul în care s-a născut Christine.5. The place whither he goes is unknown. Moreover.) There are cases when these adverbs can appear in their older forms (in archaic passages): (53) a. When they introduce restrictive relative clauses. how.) e. (S-a dus unde mai fusese. while. (Un sistem prin care va apărea o nouă descoperire) d. (Polonia este locul în care s-a născut Christine.) b.) b. Poland is the place where Christine was born. (Locul către care merge este necunoscut.5. A dark forrest wherein dangers lurk. and can be replaced by prepositional phrases with adverbial function: (50) a. (S-au întors în ţara din care veniseră.5.

but they are used very infrequently: as.) With a superlative antecedent (62) She is the prettiest girl that I have ever seen. (Este fata cea mai frumoasă pe care am văzut-o vreodată. but in standard language .] (Nu este omul care era odinioară.4.) Predicative (59) He is not the man [that he was. much. little: (63) That ugly little house was all the home that I have ever had.* Who who knew her could help loving her? 5.5.) When the rule of euphony must be observed (64) a.) With an antecedent preceded by determiners such as: all.) When do we prefer to use THAT instead of WHICH/WHO? When the antecedent is a compound nominal that refers to a human and a thing: (61) The children were the parcels that filled the car.] (Acesta este cel despre care vorbeam. (Copiii erau pachetele ce umpleau maşina.Subject (56) Did you see the letter [that came today?] (Ai văzut scrisoarea care a sosit azi?) Direct Object (57) Did you get the books [that I sent you?] (Ai primit cărţile pe care ţi le-am trimis?) Prepositional Object (58) That is the man [that I was talking about. every. any.] (Ziua în care a plecat a fost o marţi. Who that knew her would help loving her? (Cine dintre cei care o cunoşteau se puteau împiedica să o iubească?) b. not any.) Adverbial (60) Tuesday was the day [that he left. Other relative introducers There are of course other relative clauses introducers. (Căsuţa aceea urâtă era singurul cămin pe care l-am avut vreodată.

There is no man but feels pity for starving children. (Nu este nimeni dintre noi care să nu vrea să te ajute. (It’s the dry weather that is to blame. I’ll get you such things as you may want. (Omul pe care l-a întâlnit John locuieşte în Boston) The relative pronoun whom can indeed be replaced by that: (70) The man that John met lives in Boston. (Este la fel cu cel pe care l-ai avut. Uncle George.) c. să nu îmi cadă pe podeaua murdară. când am avut o bucată de pâine măricică. care fusese în China…) b. the relative clause introducer is omitted: (68) a.(65) a.) in dialect (66) a.) Sometimes in colloquial or dialectal English. era contrar naturii sale să îl urmeze.) c. There’s not many as’ll say that. It’s the dry weather does it. who had been in China …) (Unchiul George. (O să îţi dau acele lucruri pe care le doreşti. And always on the buttered side.) b. . (Niciodată nu s-a întâmplat. I never had a slice of bread Particularly long and wide But feel upon the sandy floor. it went against the grain with him to step into his shoes. There is no one of us but wishes to help you. (Cinstit cum era. (There isn’t a man who doesn’t feel pity …) (Nu e om care să nu simtă milă faţă de copiii care mor de foame) b. This is the same one that/as you had before. Honest man as he was. This remark brings us to another important question to ask: When can we delete relative clause introducers? The answer to this question is rather straight: relative introducers can be deleted whenever THAT can be used as an alternative to the respective relative introducer. (It was me who made her think…) This phenomenon is usually met with cleft relative clauses such as those under (68). It was me made her think that was the best thing to do.) b. For instance in (69) The man whom John met lives in Boston. him as was in China … (Uncle George. şi întotdeauna pe partea unsă cu unt. (There aren’t many who will say that) (Nu-s mulţi care să spuie asta…) archaic use (67) a.

(Omul pe care l-a întâlnit John locuieşte în Boston) This means that both whom and that can be deleted without the sentence losing its grammaticality: (71) The man John met lives in Boston. you will remember that a relative clause such as that in (75) She was the woman [who everybody listened to] (Ea era cea care pe care o ascultau toţi. c. (Cel cu care vorbeşte John este un geniu. The phenomenon by means of which the relativized prepositional phrase is moved in clause initial position but leaves its preposition behind is called Preposition stranding: the preposition has been stranded at the end of the sentence.) since a replacement of the relative phrase with that cannot be performed in view of the fact that the relative introducer that cannot preceded by preposition (see subsection 5. She was the womani whoi everybody listened to______. She was the womani whoi everybody listened to ti. She was a woman.2. When the preposition appears at the end of the clause. by means of which the whole phrase is moved up front (preposition and all) bears the name of pied piping. the replacement is allowed and deletion is indeed an option: (74) a.5. The man who John spoke to is a genius. (Omul pe care l-a întâlnit John locuieşte în Boston) Note that deletion is impossible in (72) The man whom John spoke to is an idiot. b. b.6. (Cel cu care vorbeşte John este un geniu. where the wh-word is the pied piper that drags after it another element: (77) She was the woman i to whomi everybody listened.3): (73) a.) b. *The man to that John spoke is an idiot. regarding the mechanism that licenses the formation of relative clauses. The man John spoke to is a genius. Everybody listened to that woman.*The man John spoke to is an idiot.) appeared as a result of movement: (76) a.) c. .) 5. (Cel cu care vorbeşte John este un idiot. (Cel cu care vorbeşte John este un geniu. The man that John spoke to is a genius. Pied Piping and Preposition Stranding If you go back to our discussion in 5. The opposite phenomenon.

apart from the distinct syntactical functions the prepositional and the genitival phrase have.) In this case the wh-word drags the constituent cover in clause initial position.7 Key Concepts Relative Clauses can be dependent and in that case they need an antecedent in the main clause. The relative clause introducer is also called the relativized constituent and it corefers with the antecedent in the main clause. . The mechanism that lies at the basis of dependent (and independent) relative clauses is movement. acting again as a genuine pied piper. Both these types of relative clauses function as Attributes (appositive or not. that is nominal phrase to which the relative clause introducer could send back.By extension. another case of pied piping is offered by the movement of the genitival phrase at the beginning of the relative clause: (78) a. but as subjects or objects (in fact fulfilling almost all syntactical functions. (Aceasta este cartea a cărei copertă am pierdut-o. We couldn’t say something like: (79) * This is the book whose I lost cover. They do not function as attributes. I lost the cover of the book. as the case is). has been deleted. including that of Indirect Object which only they can have). This is the book. The difference between (77) and (78). Dependent relative clause (so called because they are dependent on their antecedent) can further be split into restrictive ones (that define and identify the antecedent) and nonrestrictive ones (that offer additional information about the antecedent and have an appositive value). 5. This is the booki whosei cover I lost ti. as can be seen in those particular sentences exhibiting preposition stranding or pied piping. lies in the fact that in the case of (78) pied piping is obligatory. Independent relative clauses are also called Free Relative Clauses because their antecedent is missing. b.