Hi, today I have a question.

If the antecedent is with a superlative or an other word of exclusive or comprehensive meaning, such as 'all', 'only', 'any', '-thing' etc, it is often used not with 'which' but with 'that':

This is the most most beautiful picture THAT I have ever seen.

I will tell you everything THAT I know about him.

Here, they are used obeying the rule of it.

But I have found the exceptions...

* The most abominable din and confusion which it is possible for a reasonable person to conceive.-Poe.

* Reverential objections, composed of all which his unstained family could protest.-Meredith.

* He required all the solace which he could derive from literary success.-Macaulay.

* All the evidence which we have ever seen tends to prove...-Macaulay.

* A battle more bloody than any which Europe saw in the long interval between Malplaquet and Eylau.-Macaulay.

* The only other biography which counts for much is...-Times.

* The French Government are anxious to avoid anything which might be regarded as a breach of neutrality.-Times.

* It is the little threads of which the inner substance of the nerves is composed which subserve sensation.-Huxley.

Why??? Are they true??

I am really confused...What happens in the language of English? Is there any new tendencies, especially the relatives?

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Original Post
It's no surprise that you have found some examples of which after such words.

Speakers of English show a definite preference for that instead of which in restrictive relative clauses after ordinals, superlatives, -thing, the pronouns all, much, most, few,little, some, and any.

Quirk et al.* state that the pronoun in such cases is "usually" that or zero rather than which or who(m). (Section 17.15, p. 1251)

Huddleston and Pullum** state much the same: that there is a "very strong preference" for a "non-wh" pronoun. (p. 1054)

This "strong preference" does not rule out instances of wh- type pronouns in such constructions. Huddleston and Pullum remark that some pronouns are more acceptable with a wh- pronoun ("everything which") than others (*"all which"). Although that is used in the vast majority of cases, one occasionally finds which and who as well.

The last example,

It is the little threads of which the inner substance of the nerves is composed which subserve sensation.-Huxley.

...merits a comment, since it is different in structure. Because the relative clause begins with a preposition, (of), the only pronoun that can be used is which.

Marilyn Martin

*A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (Longman, 1985)

**Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (2002)
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