Hi

Sentence:

1. By COREFERENCE we understand a relation between the two noun phrases such that they have the same reference. (CGEL)

Can I rephrase it as,

2. By COREFERENCE we understand such a relation between the two noun phrases that  they have the same reference.

Does "that" introduce a relative clause?

Original Post
@Robby zhu posted:
1. By COREFERENCE we understand a relation between the two noun phrases such that they have the same reference. (CGEL)


Can I rephrase it as,

2. By COREFERENCE we understand such a relation between the two noun phrases that  they have the same reference.

Does "that" introduce a relative clause?

Hello, Robby zhu—The answer to both your questions here is no. In "such that"-clauses, "that" does not introduce a relative clause, as may be seen by the fact that (a) there is no "gap" in the clause it introduces (namely, "they have the same reference") and (b) "that" cannot be replaced by "which": "a relation between two noun phrases such which they have the same reference."

The correlative "such . . . that . . ." structure you have used in (2) does exist, as you probably already know; however, that structure, in which "such" functions as an intensifier and "that" introduces a complement clause of result, does not work as a paraphrase of non-correlative "such that" structures, including the sentence of (1).

Where "such that" functions as a unit, as in (1), it is best to think of it as a unit. Quirk et al. (1985) classify "such that" as a complex subordinator. If you wish to parse it down into its component parts, you can think of "such" as a demonstrative introducing a clause of manner: "a relation between two noun phrases which is such that . . ." ("which is this way, namely, that . . .").

Last edited by David, Moderator

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