The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

antecedent of the relatives clauses Options
Tara2
Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2020 6:29:40 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/8/2017
Posts: 1,802
Neurons: 7,192
Is "Some African countries" or "African countries" the antecedent of the relatives clauses in both 1 and 2?

1. Some African countries which are very poor have to be helped by international organisations.
2. Some African countries, which are very poor, have to be helped by international organisations.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2020 11:45:46 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 33,914
Neurons: 219,510
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
OOooh! Awkward questions . .

1. In the first one there are three different ways of 'organising' into phrases, I think. With no commas, two of them don't work really
Therefore, I would say that "African countries" is the noun-phrase modified by "which are very poor" - then the whole phrase "African countries which are very poor" is quantified by "some".

There are fifty or so African countries. We define the narrower group as "African countries which are very poor", then narrow it further to just some of those.

2. In the second, I see two possibilities which work. Both of your suggestions.

a. We take some of the 54 African countries. We note that these countries are poor.
This makes "Some African countries" the antecedent of the relative clause.

b. We note that all 54 African countries are poor - then choose some of them.
This makes "African countries" the antecedent.

Grammatically, it could be either.
Truthfully, there are some African countries which are not "very poor". Equatorial Guinea (the 'richest' by GDP per capita) is almost on a par with Spain, Italy, New Zealand and the EU as a 'nation' - and well ahead of many other European countries.

So logically, it must be (a) - the antecedent is "Some African Countries".
Tara2
Posted: Saturday, March 28, 2020 10:33:10 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/8/2017
Posts: 1,802
Neurons: 7,192
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
OOooh! Awkward questions . .

1. In the first one there are three different ways of 'organising' into phrases, I think. With no commas, two of them don't work really
Therefore, I would say that "African countries" is the noun-phrase modified by "which are very poor" - then the whole phrase "African countries which are very poor" is quantified by "some".

There are fifty or so African countries. We define the narrower group as "African countries which are very poor", then narrow it further to just some of those.

2. In the second, I see two possibilities which work. Both of your suggestions.

a. We take some of the 54 African countries. We note that these countries are poor.
This makes "Some African countries" the antecedent of the relative clause.

b. We note that all 54 African countries are poor - then choose some of them.
This makes "African countries" the antecedent.

Grammatically, it could be either.
Truthfully, there are some African countries which are not "very poor". Equatorial Guinea (the 'richest' by GDP per capita) is almost on a par with Spain, Italy, New Zealand and the EU as a 'nation' - and well ahead of many other European countries.

So logically, it must be (a) - the antecedent is "Some African Countries".

Many thanks Drago!!!
Why in the thread below they say when t's a non defining clause (2), it modify "some African countries" and also it means 'all African countries" are poor?
https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/a-book-whose-name.3621729/#post-18764221
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2020 12:27:31 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 33,914
Neurons: 219,510
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
I don't know.
Lingobingo seems to be a little confused.

He/she also says that in #1, it's wrong to use "which" - but there's nothing wrong with using 'which'.

(I think it's "she" - from the avatar) seems to only see one of the two ambiguous meanings that I see - the one meaning that all African countries are poor. But I don't understand why she said that this means that "some African countries" is the antecedent.
sureshot
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2020 1:13:29 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
Posts: 2,577
Neurons: 443,475
Tara2 wrote:

Why in the thread below they say when t's a non defining clause (2), it modify "some African countries" and also it means 'all African countries" are poor?
https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/a-book-whose-name.3621729/#post-18764221[/b][/color]

______________

Your original question was

Is "Some African countries" or "African countries" the antecedent of the relatives clauses in both 1 and 2?

1. Some African countries which are very poor have to be helped by international organisations.
2. Some African countries, which are very poor, have to be helped by international organisations.

Let me first touch upon a "non-identifying (= non-defining; non-restrictive) clause". These clauses do not identify or classify; they simply tell us more about the antecedent (person, thing etc) that is already identified. The use of comma before and after the non-identifying clause helps in its clear and unambiguous identification. In simple language, try to read the sentence without the clause between the two commas. If the sentence is meaningful and grammatically correct, it confirms that the clause between the two commas is a "non-identifying (= non-defining; non-restrictive) clause". This is the case in your sentence 2. Sentence 1 is incorrect as the "non-identifying" clause does not have a comma before and after it. It is emphasized that an "identifying clause" is not separated by commas. This is because the noun would be incomplete without the identifying relative clause.

Note the expression "that is already identified" in the preceding paragraph. The antecedent is "Some African countries". "Some" is an indefinite determiner. "African" is used as an adjective of the noun "countries". So the antecedent is "countries". "African" pertains to the countries being referred to. The phrase "Some African countries" functions as an antecedent of the "non-identifying (= non-defining; non-restrictive) clause". I wouldn't agree with the implied inference that 'all African countries" are poor". Drag0nspeaker has already mentioned that there are some African countries which are not "very poor".

I hope it helps.


Tara2
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 9:56:39 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/8/2017
Posts: 1,802
Neurons: 7,192
Many thanks to you both!

sureshot wrote:
Tara2 wrote:

Why in the thread below they say when t's a non defining clause (2), it modify "some African countries" and also it means 'all African countries" are poor?
https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/a-book-whose-name.3621729/#post-18764221[/b][/color]

______________

Your original question was

Is "Some African countries" or "African countries" the antecedent of the relatives clauses in both 1 and 2?

1. Some African countries which are very poor have to be helped by international organisations.
2. Some African countries, which are very poor, have to be helped by international organisations.

Let me first touch upon a "non-identifying (= non-defining; non-restrictive) clause". These clauses do not identify or classify; they simply tell us more about the antecedent (person, thing etc) that is already identified. The use of comma before and after the non-identifying clause helps in its clear and unambiguous identification. In simple language, try to read the sentence without the clause between the two commas. If the sentence is meaningful and grammatically correct, it confirms that the clause between the two commas is a "non-identifying (= non-defining; non-restrictive) clause". This is the case in your sentence 2. Sentence 1 is incorrect as the "non-identifying" clause does not have a comma before and after it. It is emphasized that an "identifying clause" is not separated by commas. This is because the noun would be incomplete without the identifying relative clause.

Note the expression "that is already identified" in the preceding paragraph. The antecedent is "Some African countries". "Some" is an indefinite determiner. "African" is used as an adjective of the noun "countries". So the antecedent is "countries". "African" pertains to the countries being referred to. The phrase "Some African countries" functions as an antecedent of the "non-identifying (= non-defining; non-restrictive) clause". I wouldn't agree with the implied inference that 'all African countries" are poor". Drag0nspeaker has already mentioned that there are some African countries which are not "very poor".

I hope it helps.




Sorry sureshot, if we don't consider this fact that all African countries aren't poor, does the sentence still mean some of them are poor?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 10:05:46 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 33,914
Neurons: 219,510
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi Tara.
This is going to be confusing, as sureshot and I use different "grammar-naming" systems.
One names the antecedent as "the noun (word) referred to by the following clause", the other says the antecedent is "the noun or noun-phrase being referred to by the clause".

See this post, and the ones by grammar-in-use and Manfy following it. Tunaafi is English, and is a teacher of English in the Czech Republic. He used to be a very active member on this forum, too.

The point which has been mentioned along the way, is that your sentence #1 would not normally be used.
It would be said "Some very poor African countries have to be helped by international organisations."
This shows that: "African" refers to countries; "very poor" refers to "African countries"; and "some" refers to "very poor African countries".
"very poor" is defining which African countries we're talking about. Not the rich or middle ones, but only very poor ones. "Some" then says how many of those - not all, only some.
Audiendus
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 11:44:55 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/24/2011
Posts: 6,415
Neurons: 1,216,056
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
1. In the first one there are three different ways of 'organising' into phrases, I think. With no commas, two of them don't work really
Therefore, I would say that "African countries" is the noun-phrase modified by "which are very poor" - then the whole phrase "African countries which are very poor" is quantified by "some".

There are fifty or so African countries. We define the narrower group as "African countries which are very poor", then narrow it further to just some of those. Agreed.

2. In the second, I see two possibilities which work. Both of your suggestions.

a. We take some of the 54 African countries. We note that these countries are poor.
This makes "Some African countries" the antecedent of the relative clause. Agreed.

b. We note that all 54 African countries are poor - then choose some of them.
This makes "African countries" the antecedent. Hmm – I'm not sure about that. I think the rhythm of the sentence militates against that interpretation. There are pauses at the commas but no indicated pause between "Some" and "African", so it does not look as if "African" belongs to the antecedent but "Some" does not. (In (1) this problem does not arise, as there are no commas.) So in (2) I think we would need to separate "Some" from "African" to give your interpretation 2b, e.g:

Some of the African countries, which are very poor, have to be helped by international organisations.
or
Some of Africa's countries, which are very poor, have to be helped by international organisations.

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, April 1, 2020 8:58:28 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 33,914
Neurons: 219,510
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi Audiendus.
Yes, that sounds good.

With the separation it's very clear. The antecedent noun-phrase is "the African countries".
Tara2
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2020 3:35:53 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/8/2017
Posts: 1,802
Neurons: 7,192
Many thanks to you both!!!
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.