I agree with you, Curious. I think it's a noun clause that complements brilliant dancer.

Oops! I've given this a second look and have to admit I'm wrong, Curious. It is indeed a relative (adjective) clause. But it does work better with that.

One easy test to see if something is in fact a noun clause is if it can be replaced with the interrogatory what -- and this can't be.

Here are two sentences that a GE member cited awhile back. The parts in bold are noun clauses:

There's a rumour abroad that she intends to leave the company.
There was news abroad that a change was coming.

In both cases, we can use what in questions with those clauses as the answers:

What's the rumour? That she intends to leave the company.
What was the news? That a change was coming.

As you can see, we can't make such a question from the clause we're discussing. That's the test to determine it's indeed a relative (adjective) clause.

Sorry about that, Curious and Jerry. Frown
I don't see why these work then, Richard:

This is the woman who/that Ann said could show us the church.

[Swan, p. 477]

That's the man who(m) I saw talking to your parents.

[Quirk, p. 769]

In these and the original I think both who(m)/that can be used or ellipted.

Rachel, do you know a page in Quirk which refers this? Thanks.
I was told:
------
trolley wrote:

I'm never sure of the rules but I'd go with "that". I can't quite explain it but I think it has something to do with a dancer being a "thing".

She is not who she used to be. (ain't we all?)
She is not the dancer that she used to be.
----

and it seems reasonable.
Surprise, surprise. I will argue that based on Quirk, none of the "who/that" is correct, but which is:

----
Restrictive relative clauses

17.14

In restrictive relative clauses, the pronouns given in the survey below are used. When we indicate a parenthesized relative pronoun, it means that there is the option between that-relative and 'zero':

S, O, C, A in the survey below means the relative pronoun functions respectively as subject, object, complement, and adverbial (or complement in a prepositional phrase functioning as adverbial) in the relative phrase with personal and nonpersonal antecedents:

C: She is the perfect accountant {which, *who, *that} her predecessor was not.

C: This is not the type of modern house {which, *that, *( )} my own is.


[*: not correct]

Quirk et al, A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, pp. 1248-1249.
-----

I think the first case presented here is what we have: "which/who/that" acts as complement in the relative clause with personal antecedents:

She's not the brilliant dancer {which/who/that} she used to be.

can be converted in a positive one, just to be more similar to the model:

She (still) is the brilliant dancer {which/who/that} she used to be.

"the perfect accountant" is replaced by "the brilliant dancer"

"her predecessor was not [that/who]" is replaced by "she used to be [that/who]", where [that/who] act as complements in the relative clause.

Otherwise, the structure seems similar to me.

Rachel, Richard?
She's not the brilliant dancer ---- she used to be.

The essence of the original sentence is a comparison of her dancing skill now and then. Thus, you might look at it as a comparison between "this thing now" and "that thing then". The two things are not the same. The brilliant quality of her dancing is not the same. The focus is on the quality of her dancing.

She used to be a brilliant dancer.
She is still a good dancer, but she is not as good as she used to be. Her dancing is not the same nowadays.

Q: What did she used to be?
A: A brilliant dancer.

Q: What is she now?
A: She is no longer a brilliant dancer.

Q: What did her dancing used to be?
A: It used to be brilliant.

Her dancing is not the same as it used to be.
Her dancing is not what it used to be.

I would not even consider using "who" in the the original sentence.

To me, the use of "which" would suggest an attempt at creating a non-defining relative clause. In other words, non-essential information.

The use of "that" or nothing at all are the best options in my book.
Amy:

OK, read your opinion, thanks.

However, why wouldn't Quirk apply here? Anything different? This is important, at least to me, including the fact that Quirk seems to be fine with "which" in restrictive sentences (pls check his).

Your answer seems to me more appropriate for:

She's doesn't have/produce (anymore) the brilliant dancing that she used to have.

and then I would agree, of course.

Not quite, here.
[b] Which can have a personal noun phrase as its antecedent when the head is a complement
with the role of characterization (cf 10.20 and the parallel use of if, 6.17 Note [b]):

They accused him of being a traitor, [which, *who] he was.

In restrictive relative clauses, "that" is used in a similar function;

She's not the brilliant dancer [that, *who] she used to be.

Quirk 6.34

---------------------

17.14

She is the perfect accountant [which, *who, *that] her predecessor was not.
--------------------------------------

So "that" is correct for the original question.
quote:
17.14

She is the perfect accountant [which, *who, *that] her predecessor was not.


Quirk 17.14 shows that only "which" can be used in this sentence, and it is restrictive. That's why it has * (i.e. "incorrect) in front of "who" and "that."

Thus I am not sure what you're saying. Pls refer to 17.14 and tell us why it doesn't apply here.

Then we can talk about other sections. Let's keep focus.
Jerry, you must see that the question at issue here is a sentence from Quirk.

She's not the brilliant dancer that / *who she used to be.

Quirk says "that" is correct, not who. Native speakers in this forum and many others say "which" would also not be correct.

See Quirk 6.34 please.

I hope it's all clear.
OK, now I understand you meant the section 6.34 in Quirk contains the sentence in the original posting.

I checked in Quirk and it is so.

Now, I'll have to compare 6.34 and 17.14:

She's not the brilliant dancer {that, *who} she used to be.

She is the perfect accountant {which, *who, *that} her predecessor was not.


and make sense of it all.

Rachel, Richard, could you compare them?
quote:
Now, I'll have to compare 6.34 and 17.14:

She's not the brilliant dancer {that, *who} she used to be.

She is the perfect accountant {which, *who, *that} her predecessor was not.

Let's first make the question easier by simplifying it into:

She's not the brilliant dancer {that} she used to be.
She is the perfect accountant {which, *that} her predecessor was not.

"Who" was omitted from both. Now it stands clear that the main question is whether to use "that" or "which". And this is a question of restrictive vs. non-restrictive clauses. I know both are restrictive, but normally, the choice between "which" and "that" leads one to examine restrictiveness.
I just said this because I thought it could give others some idea to think of new possible ways to explain this. I'm still thinking about it too...
quote:
1) She's not the brilliant dancer {that, *who} she used to be.

2) She is the perfect accountant {which, *who, *that} her predecessor was not.

Sentence 1) is restrictive; it's necessary to the sentence.

I think that Amy's point about focusing on the abstract idea of a brilliant dancer is accurate. That's why we can't use 'who."

Still, 'dancer' is not entirely-non-human, and is probably human enough to eliminate 'which.'

Sentence 2) is, on the other hand, a non-restrictive clause. As you know, a comma precedes the non-restrictive clause (although in Quirk's example, with a kind of table, there is no comma), and the clause must begin with who, whom, which, or whose.

Only 'which' fits in sentence 2).

I believe that in the second sentence -- She is the perfect accountant {which, *who, *that} her predecessor was not -- 'which' refers to the entire preceding sentence. Adjective clauses like this one have 'which' only, and not 'who' or 'whom,' and never 'that.'
Rachel said:

quote:
Sentence 2) is, on the other hand, a non-restrictive clause. As you know, a comma precedes the non-restrictive clause (although in Quirk's example, with a kind of table, there is no comma)


I wish this were the case, as it would mean the end of our search for a solution:-)

However, in the paragraph starting the corresponding section, 17.14, on p. 1248, Quirk says:

-----
In restrictive relative clauses, the pronouns given in the survey below are used.
-----

and, of course, there no commas.
quote:
Sentence 2) is, on the other hand, a non-restrictive clause. As you know, a comma precedes the non-restrictive clause (although in Quirk's example, with a kind of table, there is no comma)

So it seems you have just the same idea as mine, RachelSmile, but could you please explain how you consider no. 2 as a non-restrictive clause?
I consulted other experienced people. No one really kknow why Quirk treated those two sentences in 6.34 and 17.14 differently.

------------------
Phil Hunt says:

---
She's not the brilliant dancer {that, *who} she used to be.

She is the perfect accountant {which, *who, *that} her predecessor was not.


Quirk, A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, Sections 6.34 and 17.14
---

Why would they recommend that in the first and which in the latter? All the starred words (*) are not recommended, of course. By the way, there are no commas in either of them.

I don't see any differences.

---

Jerry, I see that no-one answered your question here so I'll try the best I can.
In the two examples above I admit that I do not see a difference, except that in the first example the subject of the sentence is also the subject of the relative clause. All I can suggest is that perhaps Quirk just made a mistake in not categorizing the two in the same way. I'm afraid I don't have a copy of the book, so I cannot read what Quirk says on the subject. Is it perhaps because Quirk classes a dancer as a performer and not a profession, whereas accountant is classed as a profession and a person, thus 'which' or 'who' are both applicable in the second case?
To the same question, Erik Kowal replies:

---
I also find Quirk's preferences regarding 'dancer' and 'account' mystifying.

Indeed, in my view

"She is the perfect accountant which her predecessor was not"

is incorrect unless it includes a comma before 'which':

"She is the perfect accountant, which her predecessor was not".

If the justification is that a dancer is only a person whereas an accountant is both a person and a profession -- well, I suspect this is a type of distinction that 99% of native speakers will fail to make in this situation, and must therefore be considered as irrelevant hairsplitting.
-----
I do believe that in the second sentence, the adjective clause modifies the entire independent clause preceding it. This kind of sentence-modifying clause is a non-restrictive clause and is preceded by a comma.

I wrote this in my previous posting on this thread:

  • Only 'which' fits in sentence 2).

    I believe that in the second sentence -- She is the perfect accountant {which, *who, *that} her predecessor was not -- 'which' refers to the entire preceding sentence. Adjective clauses like this one have 'which' only, and not 'who' or 'whom,' and never 'that.'
  • Add Reply

    Likes (0)
    ×
    ×
    ×
    ×