Talk:Relative pronoun

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The need for a separate article[edit]

Last year this article was redirected to Relative clause after some discussion. I've turned Relative pronoun into a stub now, and placed "Relative clause" in the Systemic Bias list. I did this because a number of languages do not employ relative pronouns for relative clauses. --Pablo D. Flores 15:10, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Makes sense. I also think some content from relative clause should be moved back here, as discussed at talk:relative clause. Ruakh 04:03, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Inclusion of Greater Linguistic Issues[edit]

Linguists such as Kayne and Bianchi have suggested that relative pronouns are actually determiners that are stranded when the relativized noun phrase is raised from the embedded clause. Should this discussion be included here or is this too technical? (P.S. I'm all for this page remaining separate.) Straughn 22:25, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

If the theory has been published in peer-reviewed journals, and is not out of date, then it does make sense to mention it briefly and provide a link to one or two relevant peer-reviewed articles. Unless this is a very widely-accepted theory, though (and I'm not commenting on whether it is — I really have no idea), I don't think we should give too much space to it.
Incidentally, if there are any notable competing theories, then we should probably mention those as well.
Ruakh 00:29, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Thanks to all who made this article so great. I had to do a teaching unit about relative pronouns, this helped so much. Thanks! BobafettH23

no hagais caso de la informació del wikipedia[edit]

hacerme caso a mi los talkative pronouns son lo peor —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:02, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

What about 'where'?[edit]

I think 'where' is also used as a relative pronoun on occasion, like in "the land of Mordor where the shadows lie". Is there a reason why it is not included with the others here, and why this is not mentioned on (talk) 21:19, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

'where' is a relative adverb. relative pronouns - who, which, that (also, whoever, whichever). relative adverbs - when (for time), where (place or location), why (reason), how. any one of these may introduce a relative (adjective) clause. the pronoun has a dual role, acting as an introduction to a relative clause, while at the same time taking a role in the clause. 'this is the house that Jack built.' 'that' introduces the subordinate clasue 'that Jack built' it also has a place in the clause, being the direct object of the clause. to see this, one must re-arrange the clause to 'Jack built that'.

back to relative adverbs... 'where the shadows lie' 'where the shadows lie' functions as an adjective (describing Mordor, a noun). so, even though 'where' is adverbial in nature, it is introducing an adjective (relative) clause. it is therefore called an relative adverb, to signify it is an adverb introducting an adjective clause, rather than its normal function.

ps - do not confuse relative pronouns with adjective pronouns. adjective pronouns are only adjectives: one, many, few, same, such, other, etc., as well as the demonstratives (this, that, these, those). 'that', being such a flexible word, fits into multiple groupings, depending on its use. when it introduces a clause and has a part in the grammar of that clause, it is relative. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:41, 13 October 2010 (UTC) (talk) 20:49, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Welsh and Chinese have no relative pronouns?[edit]

Welsh is given here as an example of a language which does not have relative pronouns, but from my knowledge this is incorrect (though it may be a question of terminology). The relative pronoun is a (e.g. ef yw'r dyn a ddaeth i'm gweld "he is the man who came to see me"). This is both etymologically and functionally a relative pronoun and is described as such in grammars, though it also functions as a preverbal particle without relative meaning - it also has cognates in other Celtic languages (e.g. Gaelic which does not use the particle a).

Unless a citation is provided in support of the assertion that Welsh has no relative pronouns, I will remove the example on the basis that a is called a 'relative pronoun' in "A Welsh Grammar" by Stephen J Williams (Prifysgol Cymru, 1980). In any case, it might be better to find an example which more emphatically doesn't use relative pronouns (e.g. one which uses inflexion like Gaulish, though that's not a very good example either). Psammead (talk) 16:02, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

The last paragraph of the article also says that Mandarin has no relative pronouns. Actually, it has de, which Li and Thompson call a nominalizer. Without objection, I'll delete this assertion. As Psammead says, it would be nice to put in an airtight example of a language with no relative pronouns. Duoduoduo (talk) 16:46, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Whom you saw[edit]

Is it too pedantic (or just incorrect) to suggest that the first example should be "whom you saw"? (Especially in a grammar article? :-) ) I don't think "to see" is a copular verb, so there should be a direct object in the objective case.

Diagrammatically, "I met the {you saw whom} man." (talk) 00:28, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Certainly, in the kinds of English that use "whom", it would be correct to do so in that example. But most registers of English don't require "whom". Perhaps it would be better to use an example with "which" instead, to avoid the problem. Victor Yus (talk) 08:53, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Apart from that, the phrase "the man who(m) you saw" is not a complete sentence. I have replaced it with a better example - one which we used years back. --Doric Loon (talk) 16:50, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Subhect-verb agreement[edit]

Do "who" or "that" or "which" (as subjects) take first- or second-person verbs? "You, who have been, are no longer" or "You, who has been, are no longer"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:32, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

I think the answer to this question belongs in English relative clauses. --Boson (talk) 12:06, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

This page in other languages[edit]

I believe the Dutch version of this page is Betrekkelijk voornaamwoord. Maybe this could be looked into (by someone who knows how to add it to the Languages-section in the sidebar ^^). (talk) 14:31, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. I would have thought a bot would have done that, since both were linked to other languages. --Boson (talk) 15:04, 15 June 2014 (UTC)