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The status of when- and where- clauses without an overt antecedent

Bénédicte Guillaume
p. 195-217

Abstract

Déterminer la nature des subordonnées introduites par when ou where lorsque ces dernières ne comportent pas d’antécédent n’est pas chose aisée dans la mesure où les différentes catégories possibles se révèlent à première vue très similaires. Nous souhaitons dans cet article tester la validité de la division tripartite entre interrogatives, relatives libres et propositions circonstancielles communément employée dans les manuels de grammaire, en nous fondant sur un corpus de taille moyenne, constitué d’exemples authentiques tirés pour l’essentiel du British National Corpus. Nous proposons de faire la différence entres les exemples ambigus (dont la signification varie en fonction du contexte) et les exemples hybrides (qui présentent un mixte de caractéristiques pouvant appartenir à plusieurs catégories différentes). L’existence de tels exemples rend nécessaire de postuler une zone de chevauchement entre la catégorie des interrogatives et celle des relatives libres. Lorsqu’il s’agit de déterminer à quel type de subordonnée on a affaire, il est également essentiel de se demander si cette dernière peut remplir la fonction de complément circonstanciel, en gardant en mémoire le fait que certains circonstants jouent le rôle de repère énonciatif pour l’ensemble d’un énoncé donné. Le cadre théorique auquel il est fait référence est celui de la Théories des Opérations Enonciatives (TOE) d’A. Culioli.

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Many thanks to C. Sibley for re-reading a draft version of this paper, although I am responsible for any mistakes or inconsistencies.
I am also indebted as far as some examples of the corpus arc concerned to R. Mauroy (for several of the BNC examples), C. Jurado (examples from
Dracula and Angela’s Ashes) and J. Teisseire (again, a few BNC examples)

Introduction

  • 1 The choice of leaving out other wh- subordinators such as what, why, who or again how (which shares (...)
  • 2 In this paper, category is taken to characterise the nature as opposed to the function of the claus (...)

1Grammatical clauses introduced by a wh- subordinator such as when or where1 are fairly common in English and they can occupy various functions within a sentence. My aim in this article is to call into question the traditional division of when- and where- clauses without an overt antecedent into three main categories2 (namely, free relatives, interrogatives and adverbials), and more specifically to address the issue of where to draw the line between these categories. The complexity of certain examples whose actual use is attested (as opposed to fabricated textbook examples) indeed shows that there cannot be completely stable definitions or descriptions given for each of the categories, hence the need for dynamic concepts when dealing with them. I would like in particular to introduce the concept of hybridism, as opposed to ambiguity, which proves useful in borderline cases. The examination of a middle-sized corpus of when- and where- clauses also shows that whether or not the type of clause can function as an adverbial is an important factor, which must be taken into account in the classification of examples.

1. Basic assumptions

2I shall first comment upon the following schema, which is a personal interpretation of the way in which Quirk et al. (1985) account for the opposition between the syntactic categories concerned with when- and where- subordinate clauses:

Schema A: Spatial representation of the opposition between categories concerning when- and where- subordinate clauses according to Quirk et al.’ s description and analysis (1985)

Schema A: Spatial representation of the opposition between categories concerning when- and where- subordinate clauses according to Quirk et al.’ s description and analysis (1985)

3I have chosen Quirk et al.’s analysis to illustrate my point, both because they are obviously a reliable source and because their approach is fairly representative of what is usually said on the subject.

  • 3 As Quirk et al. themselves point out, a ‘nominal relative clause’ can also be called ‘independent’ (...)

4These linguists advocate that a distinction should be made between wh- interrogatives and nominal relatives3. They acknowledge however that “it is often difficult to distinguish [nominal relative clauses] from the interrogative clauses” (1985: 1056), which is why I have used a dotted line to separate the two categories on my schema. The difficulty is exemplified with sentences such as the following:

Do you remember when we got lost?
relative interpretation: Do you remember the occasion, the time we got lost?

interrogative interpretation: Do you remember when it was we got lost?

[‘When did we get lost? Do you remember?’]” (1985: 1061)

5Such examples are ambiguous to the extent that they can lend themselves to at least two different interpretations when taken out of context. However, they cease to be ambiguous if they are put in context, as the glosses given by Quirk et al. demonstrate.

  • 4 It is my belief that some of the difficulties linked to the identification of the various categorie (...)

6Another interesting point concerning the typology of when- and where- clauses put forward by Quirk et al. is that the function of the clause intervenes in the allocation of a category. For instance, when they list the functions available for nominal relative clauses, they do not include the adverbial function (1985: 1058), probably because the latter is not a typically nominal function. As a result, if one applies Quirk et al’s categorisation strictly, the nature of the two where- clauses in the following example is exclusively adverbial; they cannot be considered as relative clauses with an adverbial function4 within such a theoretical framework (see also Léonarduzzi 2004: 92, note 5):

(1) She shuddered and was silent, holding down her head on her husband’s breast. When she raised it, his white night-robe was stained with blood where her lips had touched, and where the thin open wound in her neck had sent forth drops.
(Dracula: 302-3)

7This view is not universally shared, however. Huddleston and Pullum, for instance, would no doubt consider the examples above as occurrences of ‘fused relatives’ (which is what they call the free relatives - 2002: 1068) whose nature is to be a prepositional phrase, not a noun phrase. Therefore it seems that Quirk et al.’s analysis is impaired from the start by the ‘nominal’ label given to that category of relatives. This gives rise to a lack of leeway which prevents the incorporation of all the examples, as the study of the corpus shows that there is in fact a gradience in the nominalisation of such clauses, with some of them having very few nominal features.

8I shall come back to the points mentioned above, and to the traditional analysis exemplified in the first schema, in order to contrast it with the following illustration of the interpretation which I advocate of the opposition between the different categories of when- and where- clauses:

Schema B: Spatial representation of the opposition between categories concerning when- and where- subordinate clauses as advocated in the current paper

Schema B: Spatial representation of the opposition between categories concerning when- and where- subordinate clauses as advocated in the current paper

9This schema comprises the same number of categories as A, and they also occur in the same order. There are two main differences however.

10First, the opposition between interrogatives and free relatives cannot be accounted for by positing the existence of two stable categories, clearly distinct from each other. This is a well-known fact, which has often been accounted for in grammar textbooks. It is however necessary to go beyond the decontextualised pairs of ambiguous examples which are most commonly used, such as the one in the example taken from Quirk et al. (see also Huddleston and Pullum 2002: 1070-1). In my view, the two categories are unstable, and it is this instability which accounts for the possibility of displacements along the horizontal line representing the categories, thus generating an overlap zone. The border between the two categories, which is situated in that zone, is porous; such porosity accounts for hybrid occurrences (see part two).

11The concept of hybridism is different from that of ambiguity. I shall define it as the status of sentences which can be given more than one interpretation; nevertheless, contrary to what happens with ambiguous examples, the recourse to a context is not sufficient to eliminate the ambiguity and opt for one interpretation while excluding the other completely.

12The other main difference that arises from the comparison between schemata A and Β is that in my opinion relative clauses with or without an antecedent can fulfil an adverbial function, a view which is in keeping with that of other linguists, for instance Huddleston and Pullum (2003: 1068), or R. Declerck (1997: 21). However, my analysis differs from Declerck’s in terms of where to draw the line between free relatives with an adverbial function and what he calls ‘canonical’ when- clauses, that is when- clauses which function as adverbials with respect to the sentence as a whole. Declerck considers that all such clauses can be considered as free relatives, whereas I distinguish between those that work as initial locators for the utterance and those that do not, with only the latter being free relatives (see part three).

13I would now like to illustrate the points which have just been made with examples taken from my corpus.

2. The opposition between interrogatives and free relatives

  • 5 Although the core value of such markers is not dealt with as such in the current paper, it is worth (...)

14Relatives and interrogatives share the same wh- markers5, namely when and where for the case in point. The differences between the two categories lie both at the syntactic and at the semantic levels.

  • 6 See Huddleston (1994) on the difference between “interrogative” and “question”.

15From a semantic point of view, the identification of a subordinate clause as an interrogative is mostly linked with its content and / or its context, which have to express “an embedded question6”, according to Huddleston and Pullum (2002: 1070). In some examples, the subordinate interrogative indicates the presence of reported speech (as in 2), but this is not the case in most, and as a result it is much wiser to avoid using such terms as indirect or reported when dealing with interrogative subordinates, as it can only be confusing and does not account for the actual uses of such clauses (cf. Girard 2002: 85; Léonarduzzi 2004: 7).

(2) And so after asking where there might he close at hand a shop where he might purchase ship forms, he departed. (Dracula: 338)

(3) I was just wondering when it would he suitable. (BNC)

(4) The debate is no longer whether the Technical and Vocational Education Initiative will spread to all schools but when it will. (BNC)

16In (3), the verb wonder clearly indicates uncertainty; however, the reconstructed direct interrogative when will it be suitable? may never have been spoken as such. As for the fourth example, the noun debate indicates irresolution, and from a syntactic point of view the when- clause is coordinated with a typically interrogative whether- clause; that gives a good indication as to the nature of the second clause, as coordinated elements are usually of the same nature.

  • 7 The when- and where-relatives in examples (5) and (6) arc both restrictive. See example (25) for in (...)

17On the other hand, whenever when or where are used as relative markers with an adverbial function, they may or may not be preceded by an overt antecedent. When they are, there is no possible ambiguity with an interrogative clause7:

(5) The film comes at a time when Home Secretary Kenneth Baker is considering making squatting a criminal offence. (BNC)

(6) On weblogs they have recorded in words and pictures the regime’s bloody crackdown, in a city where only a handful of foreign journalists work undercover. (The Times, October 3, 2007)

18When there is no antecedent, when or where still implicitly refer to a noun clause indicating time or place, making it possible to gloss the sentences by adding in an overt antecedent without altering their original meaning, which can help identifying them as relatives:

(7) That is when you wilt really appreciate the advantages of a Home Management Account. (BNC)
→ That is
the time / the occasion when you will really appreciate the advantages of a Home Management Account.

(8) Then we looked back and saw where the clear line of Dracula’s castle cut the sky (...). (Dracula: 396)
we (...) saw the place where the clear line of Dracula’s castle cut the sky

  • 8 See Quirk et al. 1985: 1060; G. Girard 2002: 845; Huddleston and Pullum, 2002: 1071; Mauroy 2003: 1 (...)

19From a somewhat more sophisticated point of view, however8, it can be argued that the fundamental difference between the two cases is the use which is made of the wh- marker. In a free relative clause, when refers to a time in particular (hence the possibility of postulating noun-phrase antecedents such as the time, the moment...) while of course where refers to a place in particular (hence the gloss the place where...). In the interrogatives, the when- or where- element is not clearly identified. This is exemplified in the following example, which, on the one hand, contains a relative preceded by an overt antecedent which describes a specific event characterised as certain and inevitable, and, on the other hand, an interrogative clause stating that the exact time when the event will take place is unknown:

(9) If more blocks are added to the pile in the drawing in the same manner as those already there, there must come a moment when the whole pile will tip over. Ultimate catastrophe is inevitable. The question is when it will happen. (BNC)

20The difference between free relatives and interrogatives may seem straightforward when examining unambiguous examples such as the ones given until now. However, as Quirk et al. put it, “The semantic distinction between the interrogative wh-clause and the nominal relative clause is easier to exemplify than to define.” (1985: 1060) As a result, problems do arise with borderline cases, whose context is compatible both with a relative as well as an interrogative interpretation.

21In particular, interrogatives are almost always used with introductory verbs connected with knowledge and information. In a negative context, they describe information gaps and are therefore prone to signal the recourse to an interrogative subordinate, as in the following examples:

(10) The other masters walk back and forth in the front of the room or up and down the aisles and you never know when you’ll I get a whack of a cane or a slap of a strap for giving the wrong answer or writing something sloppy. (Angela’s Ashes: 361)

(11) “No one knew where he went or blooming well cared”, as they said, for they had something else to think of (...). (Dracula: 338)

  • 9 In fact, many of the syntactic criteria mentioned by grammarians in order to differentiate between (...)
  • 10 This remark only applies to the cases in which the compound wh- words in ever are used to signal an (...)

22The notion of information gap can nevertheless prove to be very vague and as a result misleading in certain contexts, hence the need for syntactic tests9 in order to support the semantic analysis. To illustrate but one, glosses using whenever and wherever respectively are not acceptable as far as examples (10) and (11) are concerned, which is normally according to Quirk et al. (1985: 1060) a sure sign that one is dealing with an interrogative clause10 (see also Huddleston and Pullum 2002: 1072).

  • 11 According to her, this is also true of a that- clause (2004: 159).
  • 12 Such a phrase is reminiscent of the linguistic concept of ‘continuum’.

23Nevertheless, when verbs such as know are used in a positive context, the interrogative interpretation becomes less evident, and there is a lack of agreement amongst grammarians as to the status of a dependent when- or where- clause in such a case. L. Léonarduzzi, for instance, argues that the compatibility between the semantics of such verbs, which refer to abstract notions, and the interrogatives is so strong that they cannot accept free relatives, and will therefore necessarily introduce an interrogative clause11; she thereby exposes the criterion of contextual uncertainty as being insufficient in the face of examples in which the speaker knows the answer to the question (2004: 158-9). This vindicates Quirk et al.’s point of view, since they mention a “chain of resemblance”’12 ranging from “the request for an answer” (e.g. She asked me who would look after the baby.) to “informing about the answer” (e.g. I told you who would look after the baby.) and conclude that “[i]n all instances a question is explicitly or implicitly raised, a question focused on the wh-element (1985: 1051; my emphasis).

24G. Girard (2002: 86-8), on the other hand, argues that it is not tenable to label as ‘interrogative’ those clauses which are introduced by verbs such as know, learn, tell, write, remember, explain, grasp, etc in an affirmative sentence. According to her, such clauses belong to a third category of subordinates. This third type is one in which information is given (contrary to interrogatives, in which there is rather an information gap), and in which it is not always possible to recover an antecedent (contrary to free relatives).

25Let’s now examine a few examples from my corpus:

(12) Before we parted, we discussed what our new step was to be, but we could arrive at no result. All we knew was that one earth-box remained, and that the Count alone knew where it was. (Dracula: 330)

(13) Remember, the caller is paying for the call. (...) Be concise and clear when giving information. Try to give details in logical order (eg explain when you will have an item in stock before you tell the customer where to park). (BNC)

26The context of (12) is one of uncertainty, as the narrator doesn’t know the answer to the question: where is the last earth-box hidden? which to some linguists is enough to conclude that the where- clause in (12) is certainly an interrogative. It is also worth noticing that the where- clause can be reduced by ellipsis to the wh-pronoun alone (the Count alone knew where), which according to Quirk et al. (1985: 908) or again Huddleston and Pullum (2002: 1072-3) can happen in interrogatives but not in relatives.

  • 13 L. Léonarduzzi, who favours an exclusive interrogative interpretation in such cases (2004: 136), ar (...)

27And yet, a paraphrase such as the Count alone knew the place where it was (hidden) is also acceptable13, which makes it difficult to completely rule out the free relative interpretation, although there are indeed more arguments in favour of the interrogative. The only way would be to posit a rule according to which a free relative cannot occur after the verb know in an affirmative context, especially when it is taken to mean have the knowledge of (cf. Léonarduzzi 2004: 136, and to a lesser extent Quirk et al. 1985: 1051 and Girard 2003: 86-7), but that is not completely satisfactory.

  • 14 They too arc explicitly quoted in Girard’s list of verbs which arc supposed to introduce the third (...)
  • 15 You can tell someone about a place though, but in such a phrase tell has a slightly different meani (...)

28As for example (13), the introductory verbs explain and tell are similar to know in a positive context in that they suggest that information is imparted rather than sought after14. The context is not at all one of uncertainty (on the contrary, information is given, as the context clearly states), and that makes the interrogative interpretation dubious. On the other hand, the addition of an antecedent does not work very well either, probably because of the semantics of the verbs themselves; you cannot really? explain a moment or? tell a place15.

29As for the following examples with decide as an introductory verb, I consider them to be relatives:

(14) Once you’ve found a video sequence you could use to present specific language items, you then have to decide when you will introduce it in your teaching of a unit. There are several possibilities: it could be used to present language either for the introduction of new areas of language or to supplement what has been taught by other means and methods; (...). (BNC)

(15)‘We know you printed a document before the ΕMP detonated. Where is it? It’s up to you. You decide when the pain stops.’ (24)

30It is clearly indicated in example (14) that there are at least two options: such a context of indecision is not adverse to an interrogative interpretation. Yet the relative interpretation seems to prevail as the context is generic, not specific: the addressee is expected to make a concrete decision each time the situation find a video sequence arises. As a result, he or she is not expected to answer the question When wouldyou prefer to introduce the video sequence? once and for all.

31As for (15), the re formulation you decide (upon) the moment when the pain stops is not entirely felicitous, yet no element in the context can really substantiate an interrogative interpretation.

32Let’s now turn to a more borderline example which employs know followed by a wh- clause in an affirmative context:

(16) I straighten up and take a deep breath to dispel the olfactory hallucination as my attention is drawn beyond the windows to the slowing of a car. I have come to recognize the subtlest pause in traffic and know when it will become someone parking out front. It is a rhythm I have listened to for hours. People gawk. Neighbors rubberneck and stop in the middle of the road. (The Last Precinct: 3)

33If one agrees to equate information with information gap as some linguists do, the when- clause in this sentence must be interrogative since the use of know here is again clearly a cognitive one. This can perhaps be corroborated by the fact that the gloss with the antecedent is not particularly felicitous in this case either; although? I know the moment when it will become someone parking out front is more or less grammatical, its meaning is unclear, and the meaning of know seems for that matter to have shifted from its original sense (see note 13).

34On the other hand, a paraphrase such as I know the answer to the question: when will it become someone parking out front? is just as inadequate. What slightly complicates the stakes here is that the context of the example is not specific but generic. It is for that reason that the substitution by a direct question does not work any better than the addition of an antecedent. Any gloss to this sentence that does not take into account the scanning of a class of situations is bound to be inadequate. By contrast, the following paraphrase comprising whenever takes the scanning into account:

I have come to recognize the subtlest pause in traffic and know whenever it will become someone parking out front.

35A gloss with whether is also possible, provided it contains a marker of scanning loo:

I have come to recognize the subtlest pause in traffic and each time know whether it will become someone parking out front.

36The compatibility between a generic context and interrogative or free relative clauses respectively is usually not studied in the reference grammars; yet it seems to me that such a context lends itself more easily to a relative interpretation (see also example 14). The question at stake here is not when will it become someone parking out front? The correct reformulation is: each time, I know the answer to the question: will it become someone parking out front?

37If the scales seem to be tipping in favour of an interrogative interpretation again, the conclusion is once more not as clear cut as one would wish. For instance, the possibility of a gloss using whenever suggests a free relative clause, not an interrogative (cf Quirk et al. 1985: 1060). The strongest clue to the interrogative interpretation is the fact that there is undoubtedly an “embedded question” (cf. Huddleston and Pullum), and yet it is not a when- question but an alternative question (will it become someone parking out front?)!

38In general, the recourse to a semantic analysis of the examples as well as to syntactic tests (which are limited in their scope) does not yield completely satisfactory results: although I was able to assign a part-of-speech category to each of the when- or where- clauses in the above examples, there remains in some cases room for debate as far as their true nature is concerned. This seems to corroborate the need for an intermediary zone in which to situate hybrid examples, as suggested by schema B.

  • 16 Since Huddleston and Pullum consider that clauses with an adverbial function arc also free relative (...)

39However, another trail should be followed in order to either validate or undermine the hybridism theory as far as the free relatives and interrogatives are concerned. A more fundamental distinction in nature between the two types of clauses is indeed at the basis of both Quirk et al.’s and Huddleston and Pullum’s handling of the problem, namely the idea that free relatives are nominal16 whereas interrogatives are purely clausal (1985: 1056-60; 2002: 1068-73). I shall now examine some of the arguments in favour of that division in the light of examples taken from my corpus.

40What is the evidence available to sustain the alleged dichotomy? As the free relative clause is said to be closer to a noun phrase, it is supposed to have the same range of functions as the noun phrase (Quirk et al. 1985: 1058; Huddleston and Pullum 2002: 1070), which is corroborated in my corpus. And yet, interrogative clauses seem no less prone to occupy all these functions themselves, as for instance the subject position:

(17) Just when Winterbottom will retire is undecided. (BNC)

(18) Whether and when you can see the client if he or she ‘pops in’ should be dealt with very clearly. The client does not know what to expect and it is your responsibility to ensure that he or she does not waste time trying to contact you at inappropriate times. (BNC)

  • 17 This reference is given in Malan (1998: 48) and taken up by Girard (2001: 82).
  • 18 It should be noted that this test works quite well with examples which I tend to classify as relati (...)

41The when- clauses in these two examples are interrogatives if one takes into account both their semantics and their context. In (17), the predicative adjective ‘undecided’ signals a context of uncertainty; one should also take into account the use of the adverb just which bears on the introductory when. It is reminiscent of a syntactic test whose purpose is to discriminate between relatives and interrogatives, which is described in O. Jespersen’s well-known grammar17. It consists in inserting within the sentence an adverb bearing on the wh- pronoun such as just, precisely or exactly: when successful, such a gloss tends to indicate that one is dealing with an interrogative18.

42As for example (18), it can effectively be glossed by the question / issue of when you can see the client... (rather than the moment when you can see the client..., which would convey a slightly different meaning). Above all, the coordination with the whether- clause, which can be nothing else but interrogative, is a strong argument in favour of the interrogative interpretation.

43The two interrogative when- clauses function as sentential subjects in their respective contexts, a function which is more typical of the noun phrase but which can also be fulfilled by clauses. However, what is worthy of note concerning these examples is the fact that only the former when- clause can be extra-posited:

It is undecided just when Winterbottom will retire.

44And that is, according to Huddleston and Pullum, a clear sign that one is dealing with a clause proper, not a noun phrase (2002: 1069). By contrast, example (18) cannot so easily be extra-posited, hence the idea that it is closer to a noun phrase than the above example:

? It should be dealt with very clearly whether and when you can see the client if he or she ‘pops in’.

? It should be dealt with very clearly when you can see the client if he or she ‘pops in’.

45Such examples suggest that there may be a gradation in the nature of these subordinates, whose characteristics are in fact a mixture of clausal and nominal properties. The interrogative vs. free relative dichotomy is not sufficient to distinguish between the various degrees of hybridism, as examples (17) and (18) demonstrate; although they both contain interrogatives, these interrogatives display a somewhat distinct syntactic behaviour.

46As for the other syntactic functions fulfilled by the interrogatives, the examples already examined have shown occurrences of direct object complements (2, 10, 11, 16), as well as indirect object (3) or again subject complements (4, 9).

47The examples of grammatical functions listed above for the interrogative clause are in no way exceptional, but they help undermine the claim that relative clauses are more nominal because they have a wider range of typically nominal functions. When comparing the grammatical functions illustrated in each category, the only one which is occupied by relatives and never by interrogatives is that of adverbial complement, which after all is not a typically nominal function. I shall however come back to this point.

48When interrogatives are used as indirect complements, one finds an interesting difference between their syntactic behaviour and that of free relatives, which is directly linked to the nominal vs. clausal opposition. The use of a preposition is expected before free relatives whenever they complement a noun phrase or an adjective (which testifies to their basically nominal nature), whereas an interrogative clause should not be preceded by a preposition (cf. Huddleston and Pullum 2002: 1070). This makes a lot of sense from a syntactic point of view, and yet once more the distinction becomes blurred when looking at certain examples from the corpus:

(19) Nenna’s children neither showed any interest in where she had been nor in why she did not come back until next morning. (BNC)

49The exact nature of this clause is not easy to determine, which makes it a good illustration of the concept of hybridism. The addition of an overt antecedent is successful: [they] neither showed any interest in the place where she had been nor..., even though it may be said to put somewhat too much emphasis on a place in particular, as opposed to the vagueness of the original sentence (no matter where she had been, they were not interested anyway), but this is only a minor difference here.

50And yet the context is undoubtedly one of uncertainty: although they’re not interested, it is unclear where she went (and why she did not come back earlier on), and this should raise concern, which is more than enough to meet the ‘implicit’ or ‘embedded’ question condition posited by Quirk et al. or Huddleston and Pullum.

51All this is in favour of the interrogative interpretation, although it appears once more that there is no definite reason to completely rule out a relative interpretation, all the more so as the introductory noun phrase here is fairly neutral. The use of the preposition, on the other hand, is clearly a nominal trait, more typical as a result of the free relatives than of the interrogatives. Nevertheless, it would not be incorrect in that context to do away with the introductory preposition ([they] neither showed any interest Ø where she had been nor Ø why she did not come back until next morning), which testifies to the hybridism of this example.

52The next example, however, is clearly interrogative. And yet the coordinated complements of an idea are introduced by a preposition again:

  • 19 It is obviously easy to collect numerous examples of just about anything on the internet, and for v (...)

(20) I’m trying to get an idea of how and where to decorate for 80th birthday party and haven’t got an idea. (Internet19)

  • 20 The relative counterpart of this example is I’m trying to get an idea of the way in which to decora (...)

53The addition of the place or even the spots as an antecedent proves clumsy as the reference here is very vague. The phrase get an idea of belongs to the same category as find out or again know, that is to a category of verbs whose semantics are connected with the imparting of knowledge, and as a result regularly considered as more typical of the interrogatives. From the syntactic point of view, the coordination with a how- clause, which cannot be relative20, is solid evidence that the following where- clause is also an interrogative.

54As in the previous example, a preposition comes in between the noun phrase (an idea) and its complements; there too it could be done away with (I’m trying to get an idea Ø how and where to decorate...). But this only goes to prove that the difference in nature postulated between the free relatives and the interrogatives (whether more or less nominal) is in fact very unstable.

55The following example testifies to the same instability operating in reverse:

(21) I look at my passport picture when I was small and I can see why they call me Jap. (Angela’sAshes: 316)

  • 21 It could even be paraphrased by an attributive adjective (my former passport picture), which is one (...)

56From a semantic point of view, the when- subordinate in this example cannot be an interrogative. It is clearly relative, and although it conveys distinctive information concerning the preceding noun phrase my passport picture21, the latter cannot be the antecedent for the when- clause, as only phrases referring explicitly to time can play that role. The following gloss clarifies the relation at stake, and the meaning conveyed is summed up by the preposition used in the second paraphrase:

I look at my passport picture which dates back to (the time) when I was small.
I look at my passport picture of when I was small.

57Despite the omission of the preposition, the original sentence is quite idiomatic. This goes once more against the dichotomy postulated by some between nominal relative clauses and purely clausal interrogatives. The possibility of a clause occurring as the complement of a noun phrase without the intermission of a preposition is deemed by Huddleston and Pullum to be a typical clausal feature (2002: 1070), and should therefore not occur with a relative, were the division a stable one.

58The following examples contain unmistakable relative when- clauses, as their respective contexts are clearly assertive and do not at all lend themselves to the expression of uncertainty. But their characteristics also testify to the fact that relatives can behave in a way which is more reminiscent of that of clauses than that of noun phrases:

(22) If your debtor has money and no legitimate excuse for not paying what he owes you, the only solution may be to take him to court. In England and Wales this will mean the County Court, unless your debt is over £5000, when it will mean the High Court (BNC)

(23) Try to remember the things you’ve learned from this poem until you do the next exercise when you will have the opportunity to transform the knowledge into something uniquely your own. (BNC)

59Although both the when- clauses in these examples are preceded by a noun phrase (respectively over £5000 / the next exercise), neither can qualify as an antecedent as they are not temporal; besides, contrary to example (21), there is no obvious semantic relation between the noun phrase in question and the contents of the relative.

  • 22 Declerck for instance analyses similar examples as “nonrestrictive relative clauses without overt a (...)
  • 23 Huddlcston and Pullum call such which- relative clauses ‘supplementary’ as opposed to ‘integrated’, (...)

60In these two cases, one can either consider that there is no overt antecedent22, or more unconventionally that the antecedent is not simply the noun phrase (which in any case would be wrong), but the whole clause preceding it. By way of comparison, which can take a whole clause for its antecedent (for instance: she wouldn’t stay for dinner, which hurt their feelings), but it is normally the only relative pronoun to be able to do so. And yet, the semantic relation between the unless- and the until- clauses respectively, and the relative clause in the two examples under consideration, is akin to that a which- clause enjoys with its clausal antecedent23. That link can be reconstructed as follows:

...unless your debt is over £5000, which will then mean the High Court.

...until you do the next exercise which is the time when you will have the opportunity...

  • 24 The when- clause is in fact embedded within the until- clause, and the totality of the until-clause (...)

61In (22), when marks a temporal succession which can be interpreted on the semantic level as a relation of cause and effect, hence the use of then in the gloss, with both a temporal and above all a causal meaning. The paraphrase of (23) highlights the link between the temporal until- clause and the relative that it contains24, which is in fact one of temporal identification, here rendered explicit by the use of be as a copula.

3. The opposition between clauses with an adverbial function and clauses as initial locators

62Although I have endeavoured to show that the traditional dichotomy between when- and where- clauses as free relatives or interrogatives is an unstable one, and that, as a result, it can make more sense to go beyond such a distinction in some cases by acknowledging that some hybrid examples display a blend of features belonging to different categories, I certainly do not wish not to suggest that all types of when- / where- subordinates are equivalent. First, I find it useful to maintain a differentiation between free relatives and interrogatives according to the semantic and syntactic criteria exemplified in part two, until the point when it becomes counter-productive. Second, there is a third category of when- and where- subordinates without an overt antecedent which has to be differentiated from the other two, for they do present irreducible syntactic as well as semantic differences (especially in the context of an enunciative analysis).

63Let’s take an example in order to illustrate by contrast the specificities of the third category:

(24) You may not be able to retire when it would he most convenient. (BNC)

64As far as the nature of the when- subordinate is concerned, the semantic context, which is not interrogative, as well as the fact that a gloss including an overt antecedent (You may not be able to retire at the moment when it would be most convenient) corresponds to the meaning of the original sentence, make it a clear example of free relative.

65As for the function, it is an adverbial clause of time. It is neither the subject nor a complement of the verb retire which is intransitive, it provides some information on the moment when the action described in the main clause might take place. It is also worth noticing that the overt antecedent postulated in the paraphrase given above has to be introduced by the preposition at, which is also a good indication as to the function of the clause within the sentence.

66Therefore, this when- clause is both relative (in its nature) and adverbial (in its function). The adverbial function seems typical of the free relatives, as I have found no example of adverbial interrogatives. As a result, this could become another means to distinguish when possible between free relatives and interrogatives, along with the other criteria and tests previously listed in the current paper, which is why the capacity to function as an adverbial is taken into account in schema Β in order to delineate the borders in between the various categories (see top line on the schema).

  • 25 See also example (1) and note 4.

67One may wonder whether a subordinate whose function is adverbial can still be called a nominal clause. Although a noun phrase can perform an adverbial function, it must in that case be introduced by a preposition, as seen in the paraphrase of (24). Grammarians are divided on this question. For instance. Quirk et al. state that when and where function as adverbials within a nominal relative clause (1985: 1057), and yet they do not include the adverbial function as part of the possible functions of the clause itself (1985: 1058), which tends to indicate that they would not classify (24) as a nominal relative25.

68Huddleston and Pullum, on the other hand, consider that what they call the fused relatives are no longer noun phrases but become prepositional phrases whenever they play an adverbial role in the sentence (2002: 1068). In the latter case, they behave like clauses (cf. the interrogatives), not like noun phrases (2002: 1069). For Declerck also, such when- clauses are used in adverbial rather than nominal function (1997: 21). 1 share the view that a clause whose function is adverbial is not nominal, which is why I favour the free relative rather than nominal relative label (contrary to Quirk et al. 1985) and find that the clausal vs. nominal opposition argued by some linguists is questionable (see previous section in this paper).

  • 26 In the case of nonrestrictive relatives, the link between the overt antecedent (which is always exp (...)

69All the types of when- and where- relatives can have an adverbial function within the sentence, whether or not they have an overt antecedent. In the case of restrictive relatives with an overt antecedent (see examples 5 and 6), the adverbial function is performed by the whole noun phrase formed by the antecedent plus its relative clause. In the case of non-restrictive relatives26, the antecedent of a when- or where- clause always functions as an adverbial, and as a consequence the relative pronoun does too; but since they do not form a single entity, the impression most of the time is that there are two separate time or place adverbials, with the second one being a repeat of the first, only with more information:

(25) First we will march to the barracks, where you will be issued with supplies so that you can get yourselves bedded down. Supper will be served at nineteen hundred hours and lights out will be at twenty-one hundred hours. Tomorrow morning reveille will be sounded at zero five hundred, when you will rise and have breakfast (...). (BNC)

70The following examples have no overt antecedent, yet again they are primarily relative clauses, which happen to function as adverbials with respect to the utterance as a whole:

(26) Penny McAllister’s parents welcomed the decision but insisted the verdict should have been murder and the sentence life. ‘Our daughter would have been 29 years old when this person will be walking the streets again.’ said 51-year-old Norman Squire at his home in Arundel, West Sussex. (BNC)

(27) Tug sat down where the Woman pointed, but Doyle began to walk round the room, peering at the table from all angles. (BNC)

71In (26), a phrase such as by the time could be inserted just before the relative clause. The use of the modal will in the clause also testifies to its true nature (cf. Guillaume 2006). I now would like to make the difference between such examples and the following:

(28) “Gentlemen”, Sophie said, her voice firm. “To quote your words, ‘You do not find the Grail, the Grail finds you.’ I am going to trust that the Grail has found me for a reason, and when the time comes, I will know what to do.” (The Da Vinci Code: 320)

(29) Where food is hard to find, few birds remain throughout the year. (OALD: 1454)

72At first sight, the nature of these examples may not seem very different from that of the previous ones. It is even possible once more to obtain paraphrases containing overt antecedents, even if they appear a little redundant, hence somewhat clumsy:

At the moment when the time comes, I will know what to do.
In places where food is hard to find, few birds remain throughout the year.

73It is the semantics of when and where which makes it possible to add in overt antecedents indicating time and place respectively in a very general way. However, these examples present a major difference with the previous ones from an enunciative point of view, namely in the way in which the clauses forming the utterance are located in relation to one another.

74A relative clause can never be the locator for a whole utterance, even one that contains its own antecedent, as the free relatives are sometimes described. As its name indicates, it is relative, hence located with respect to a locator, that is an antecedent. If the antecedent is not expressed, it is because the context is clear enough to dispense with it; still, the clause itself cannot be a locator.

  • 27 A parallel can be made with certain theories in which the restrictive vs. non-restrictive oppositio (...)

75However, the wh- clauses in examples (28) and (29) play the part of initial locators for the sentence as a whole (in Culioli’s terms; cf. Groussier et Rivière 1996: 45; 178; Mérillou and Ranger 2000: 47). It means that not only do these clauses describe the circumstances in which the action in the main clause can take place, but they are also decisive in bringing it about27. Thus the subordinate locator functions as a switch so to speak, or as a lever; it triggers off the realisation of the predicative relation contained in the superordinate (cf. Guillaume 2006: 65). There is to some extent a relation of cause and effect between them.

76Such initial locators often occur at the beginning of the sentence, in which case they are almost always separated from the main clause by a comma in a written text or by a pause in the oral. Yet they are initial above all from an enunciative point of view, and as such they can also occur at the end of a sentence, with or without an intervening comma:

(30) Senecio pulcher is a plant for the adventurous gardener. (...) So why, you may well ask, try to grow it then? You will understand when you see its handsome dark green leathery leaves and startling gold-eyed daisies, their cerise-magenta ray florets in branched heads 1-1/2 ft above the ground. The combination is dramatic and somehow unexpected in a senecio (...). (BNC)

77When positioned at the end of the sentence without a comma in front, such clauses may become more difficult to distinguish from free relatives with an adverbial function. It is not the case for example (30), however, as the present tense is used (I will come back to this point). But the difference in the use of tenses only applies to the when- clauses with a future reference, and never to the where- clauses:

(31) This corroborated our theory that Gault had killed and maimed her where she was found, because, had she been transported after the assault, debris would have adhered to drying blood. (From Potter’s Field)

78The where- clause in this example cannot be interrogative, be it only because an interrogative clause cannot fulfill an adverbial function. Also, the question here is where the woman was killed, not where she was found. What makes it obvious here that one is dealing with a free relative with an adverbial function, and not with an adverbial clause proper, is that there is no relation of cause and effect between the superordinate clause Gault had killed and maimed her and the where- clause, contrary to what happens for instance in (29).

79As for the where- clauses in (32), they are adverbial clauses working as initial locators:

(32) “Where there’s a motive, there’s no opportunity, and where there’s an opportunity, there’s no motive!” (A Body in the Library, DVD)

80It must be acknowledged however that examples of where- clauses as initial locators are a lot scarcer than those with when (which is why I have also resorted to a dictionary example in 29), probably because a place reference is less likely to be deemed a determining factor in the triggering off of an event than a time reference.

  • 28 See also Declerck 1997.

81I have also addressed in another article (Guillaume 2006) the problem of the use of the tenses in when- clauses28. It is well-known that epistemic modals such as will (or its past form would) cannot appear in when- adverbials when they are initial locators. The explanation given in an utterer-centred approach is that whenever a subordinate clause plays the role of an initial locator with respect to a superordinate clause, it has to provide a stable enough locator (cf. Chuquet 2001: 166). A modal such as will in its epistemic use does not fulfil such a condition as it expresses that the realisation of an action is aimed at, but not necessarily that it will take place for certain.

82Yet I tried to show that the use of will primarily signals a difference between the time at which the utterance is spoken and the time at which the event takes place, not only from a temporal but also from a qualitative point of view. Hence the idea that the recourse to the modal is not always grammatically constrained (although it is in many cases), but can sometimes result from a choice on the part of the utterer, depending on whether he or she takes the present situation into account or not:

(33) I was with Suu for two and a half weeks in April and I was able to tell her that this was going to happen today. (...) She was physically weak, but by the time I left she was regaining her strength and her spirit and commitment remain unchanged. Both Dr Aris and the university look forward to the day when Aung San Suu Kyi will hefree to come to Oxford to collect her honorary degree. (BNC)

83In such an example, which is by no means an isolated case (see Guillaume 2006), the content of the when- subordinate is clearly contrasted with the present situation, in which the Nobel Prize winner’s freedom of movement is severely restricted. The use of the modal will contributes to putting things in perspective with respect to the present.

84For that reason, I will not go as far as R. Declerck (1997), who advocates the idea that when is in fact not a subordination conjunction, but always to some degree a free relative adverb. Although he makes his case in a convincing manner, I still find it necessary to clearly differentiate between when- adverbial clauses functioning as initial locators and free relative clauses with an adverbial function, be it only because of the completely different perspective taken by the utterer in the appraisal of the present situation, which is demonstrated in the use of tenses.

85As a result, the opposition between adverbial when- and where- clauses used as initial locators, and between interrogatives on the one hand and free relatives on the other, appears to be a clear cut one, which is a major difference from the results drawn from the former section. Interrogatives can never even have an adverbial function; as for the free relatives, they can be used as adverbials, but never provide an initial locator for the sentence as a whole. It would therefore seem pointless to integrate an overlap zone at that level on schema B, instead of indicating a clear separation.

Conclusion

86The existence of three different categories of when- or where- clauses without an antecedent is vindicated by evidence from a corpus of attested examples. It is not always possible however to delineate clear-cut borders in between the categories if one is to take into account the characteristics of some borderline examples, which display a blend of features typical of various categories, both at the semantic and at the syntactic levels. As a result, the traditional division in three categories must be preserved, but it must also include some degree of flexibility, in particular by allowing for an overlap zone between the interrogatives and the free relatives in order to integrate hybrid examples.

87Not only should the system be flexible, it also needs to be dynamic in order to reflect reality, which is represented on the schema by a line symbolising the increasing possibility for the clauses to be used as adverbials (which may or may not function as initial locators). This provides another key element towards the identification of such clauses and helps put the whole system into perspective.

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Bibliography

Adamczewski, Henri and Delmas, Claude. 1982. Grammaire linguistique de l’anglais. Paris: Armand Colin.

Chuquet, Jean. 2001. « Modalité et Subordination. » Modalité et opérations énonciatives. Cahiers de Recherche tome 8. Eds J. Bouscaren, A. Deschamps and L. Dufaye: 3-22. Paris: Ophrys.

Culioli, Antoine. 1990. Pour une linguistique de l’énonciation. Opérations et représentations. Tome I. Paris: Ophrys.

Declerck, Renaat. 1997. When-Clauses and Temporal Structure. London: Routledge.

Dufaye, Lionel. 2006. « WH-: Fin de parcours. » Corela. Numéro spécial: Le parcours, (http://corela.edel.univ-poitiers.fr/document.php?id=958).

Girard, Geneviève. 2001. « Propositions enchâssées en WH-: interrogatives indirectes, relatives nominales ou troisième type de proposition? » Mélanges en l’honneur de Gérard Deléchelle, GRAAT. Tours: PU François Rabelais. 79-88.

Gournay, Lucie. 2005. « (Entre autres choses) pourquoi les marqueurs en WH- ne sont finalement pas des opérateurs de parcours. » Travaux du CIEREC 122. Saint-Etienne: PU de Saint-Etienne.

Groussier, Marie-Line et Riviere, Claude. 1996. Les mots de la linguistique. Lexique de linguistique énonciative. Paris: Ophrys.

Guillaume, Bénédicte. 2006. « Will dans les subordonnées en when est-il un marqueur de différenciation au niveau qualitatif? » Cycnos. 23.1: 63-75.

Huddleston, Rodney. 1994. ‘The Contrast between Interrogatives and Questions.’ Journal of Linguistics. 30: 411-39.

Huddleston, Rodney and Pullum, Geoffrey. 2002. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

Jespersen, Otto. [1909-1949] 1954. A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles. London: Allen & Unwin.

Lapaire, Jean-Rémi and Rotge, Wilfrid. 1991. Linguistique et grammaire de l’anglais. Toulouse: PU du Mirail.

Leonarduzzi, Laetitia. 2004. La subordonnée interrogative en anglais contemporain. Aix-en-Provence: Publications de l’Université de Provence.

Malan, Naomi. 1998. Sémantique, syntaxe et pragmatique de la relative en anglais contemporain. PhD dissertation. Paris: Université de Paris III.

Mauroy, Régis. 2003. « Quel WH- dans les interrogatives, les relatives et les clivées? » La Subordination en anglais. Une approche énonciative. Eds A. Celle and S. Gresset: 111-29. Toulouse: PU du Mirail.

Mauroy, Régis. 2006. « Stabilité et qualification dans les WH dits de parcours. » Corela. Numéro spécial: Le parcours.
(http://corela.edel.univ-poitiers.fr/document.php?id=917)

Merillou, Catherine and Ranger, Graham. 2000. « Repérage, déformabilité et ajustement dans les propositions circonstancielles en when. » Cahiers Forell. Ed. J. Chuquet. 14: 47-64.

Quirk, Randolph, Greenbaum, Sidney, Leech, Geoffrey and Svartvik, Jan. 1985. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. Harlow (UK): Longman.

Wyld, Henry. 2003. ‘Adverbial clauses: an enunciative approach.’ La Subordination en anglais. Une approche énonciative. Eds A. Celle and S. Gresset: 15-38. Toulouse: PU du Mirail.

Corpus

British National Corpus. 2000. World edition. The Humanities Computing Unit of Oxford University.

A Body in the Library. [1984] 2006. Directed by S. Narizzano. Miss Marple. Season 1, episode 2. BBC Worlwide Ltd.

Brown, Dan. 2003. The Da Vinci Code. New York: Doubleday.

Cornwell, Patricia. [1995] 1996. From Potter’s Field. London: Warner.

Cornwell, Patricia. [2000] 2001. The Last Precinct. London: Warner.

Highsmith, Patricia. [1950] 2001. Strangers on a Train. New York: Norton.

McCourt, Frank. [1996] 1999. Angela’s Ashes. London: Large Print Press.

Oald- Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English. 1989. 4th edition. Oxford: Oxford UP.

Stoker, Bram. [1897] 2006. Dracula. London: Penguin.

The Times. October 3, 2007.

24. 2005. Fox Network. Created by J. Surnow and R. Cochran. Season 4, episode 7pm - 8pm.

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Notes

1 The choice of leaving out other wh- subordinators such as what, why, who or again how (which shares many characteristics with the wh- words) is to some extent arbitrary, but can also be accounted for in that each type of clause possesses specific characteristics, and it was not possible to deal with every one of them in the limited space allotted to the current paper. To give but a few concrete examples, what for instance cannot occur with an antecedent, which makes it different from when and where as far as the study of relative clauses is concerned. How is never relative (→ the way in which) and why is never adverbial. For a more comprehensive overview of such markers in an enunciative approach, see Mauroy (2006).
For the same reason, the compound forms
whenever and wherever shall not be studied in depth, despite their connection with some of the problems at stake.

2 In this paper, category is taken to characterise the nature as opposed to the function of the clauses.

3 As Quirk et al. themselves point out, a ‘nominal relative clause’ can also be called ‘independent’ or ‘free’ (1985: 1059, note a). I personally advocate the latter, given that ‘nominal’ implies that those relatives have typically nominal, as opposed to clausal, features, which is questionable as will be shown. I shall however retain the authors’ original choice of word when referring to specific descriptions. As for ‘independent’, it seems to be somewhat inadequate to qualify a clause which is in theory both subordinate and relative.

4 It is my belief that some of the difficulties linked to the identification of the various categories of when or where- clauses may arise from the ambivalent meaning of the term ‘adverbial’, which is also sometimes used by grammarians in a somewhat inconsistent manner. ‘Adverbial’ designates cither the nature of the clause or a grammatical function (which can for instance be occupied by prepositional phrases as well). I use the term in both senses but will try to differentiate between the two when I do. For Quirk et al. on the other hand, adverbial docs not designate the function but the nature of a clause, it is a part-of-speech category. As for the functions of the adverbials, they arc either adjunct or disjunct (1985: 1048), according to the terminology which they use for adverbs (1985: 440).

5 Although the core value of such markers is not dealt with as such in the current paper, it is worth recalling that they have been characterised as “information gaps” (for instance, Quirk et al.), which is summarised in Henri Adamczewski’s striking formula: “une forme vide en attente de remplissage” (1982: 324: “an empty form waiting to be filled”, my translation). In A. Culioli’s utterer-centred approach, wh- pronouns were traditionally thought of as “markers of scanning” (see Groussier and Rivière 1996: 137 for a definition of that term), but, interestingly enough, more recent accounts (for instance Gournay 2005; Dufaye 2006) have called that view into question as being somewhat too simplistic.

6 See Huddleston (1994) on the difference between “interrogative” and “question”.

7 The when- and where-relatives in examples (5) and (6) arc both restrictive. See example (25) for instances of non-restrictive relatives.

8 See Quirk et al. 1985: 1060; G. Girard 2002: 845; Huddleston and Pullum, 2002: 1071; Mauroy 2003: 119-22.

9 In fact, many of the syntactic criteria mentioned by grammarians in order to differentiate between the two types of clauses arc not applicable to the case of when and where. Those described by Quirk et al. (1985: 1059-61) generally concern what, and more specifically the case in which what is a determiner, while Girard (2002: 81) concentrates on the case of infinitive clauses. However, some of the tests described in Huddleston and Pullum (2002: 1070-3) or again L. Léonarduzzi (2004: 100-31) do prove useful.

10 This remark only applies to the cases in which the compound wh- words in ever are used to signal an operation of scanning (eg I’ll go wherever you will go), and not to their intensive use in interrogative clauses (eg Wherever did they go?); see Quirk et al. 1985: 1061 (note c) or again Huddleston and Pullum: 1072 (note 15).

11 According to her, this is also true of a that- clause (2004: 159).

12 Such a phrase is reminiscent of the linguistic concept of ‘continuum’.

13 L. Léonarduzzi, who favours an exclusive interrogative interpretation in such cases (2004: 136), argues that the paraphrase with the antecedent alters the meaning of the verb know, which then no longer signifies the possession of information (equivalent to the French verb “savoir”) but rather indicates that the person is acquainted with the place and what it looks like (equivalent to the French “connaître”).

14 They too arc explicitly quoted in Girard’s list of verbs which arc supposed to introduce the third type of wh-subordinates (2001: 86).

15 You can tell someone about a place though, but in such a phrase tell has a slightly different meaning, which involves commenting upon the information, not just giving it out. Contrast the second occurrence in example (13) with You could tell me all about where she lived, you know... (Strangers on a Train), in which the where clause is undoubtedly a free relative ( » You could tell me all about the place where she lived).

16 Since Huddleston and Pullum consider that clauses with an adverbial function arc also free relatives (‘fused relatives’ in their terminology), they consider them to be an exception, as those arc prepositional, not nominal, phrases (2002: 1071). I shall examine clauses with an adverbial function more in depth in the last part of the current paper.

17 This reference is given in Malan (1998: 48) and taken up by Girard (2001: 82).

18 It should be noted that this test works quite well with examples which I tend to classify as relative clauses (see for instance 14 and 15), which may be regarded as an argument in favour of classifying all such examples as interrogatives, even when the introductory verb is in the affirmative.

19 It is obviously easy to collect numerous examples of just about anything on the internet, and for various reasons (be it for instance register or the fact that many nonnative speakers use English for their contributions), they arc not always reliable. This is why those which I do use arc only those which have been unconditionally accepted by native speakers.

20 The relative counterpart of this example is I’m trying to get an idea of the way in which to decorate...

21 It could even be paraphrased by an attributive adjective (my former passport picture), which is one of the tests that can be carried out in order to verify that a relative is restrictive with regard to its antecedent.

22 Declerck for instance analyses similar examples as “nonrestrictive relative clauses without overt antecedent” (1997: 11) and calls them ‘continuative’, according to Jespersen’s definition of certain relative clauses which "arc always added after what might have been the end of a whole sentence, and instead of [which) we might just as well have had a separate sentence with and and a following personal pronoun” (1928: 105).

23 Huddlcston and Pullum call such which- relative clauses ‘supplementary’ as opposed to ‘integrated’, which arc the more common relative clauses with a noun-clause antecedent (2002: 1070).

24 The when- clause is in fact embedded within the until- clause, and the totality of the until-clause functions as an adverbial of time for the sentence to which it belongs (cf. Guillaume 2006: 66).

25 See also example (1) and note 4.

26 In the case of nonrestrictive relatives, the link between the overt antecedent (which is always expressed) and the relative is much looser that in restrictives, since the relative clause could more readily be dispensed with. As a result, the clause is less closely connected to its antecedent, which can often show in the use of commas in between the antecedent and the clause.

27 A parallel can be made with certain theories in which the restrictive vs. non-restrictive opposition, which usually concerns the relatives, is also applied to adverbial clauses (cf. Quirk et al. 1985: 1075-7). This is also reminiscent of the adjunct vs. disjunct analysis developed by Quirk et al. (1985: 1070-2), with the initial locators corresponding more or less to the former.

28 See also Declerck 1997.

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List of illustrations

Title Schema A: Spatial representation of the opposition between categories concerning when- and where- subordinate clauses according to Quirk et al.’ s description and analysis (1985)
URL http://anglophonia.revues.org/docannexe/image/898/img-1.jpg
File image/jpeg, 208k
Title Schema B: Spatial representation of the opposition between categories concerning when- and where- subordinate clauses as advocated in the current paper
URL http://anglophonia.revues.org/docannexe/image/898/img-2.jpg
File image/jpeg, 346k
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References

Bibliographical reference

Bénédicte Guillaume, « The status of when- and where- clauses without an overt antecedent », Anglophonia/Sigma, 13 (26) | 2009, 195-217.

Electronic reference

Bénédicte Guillaume, « The status of when- and where- clauses without an overt antecedent », Anglophonia/Sigma [Online], 13 (26) | 2009, Online since 13 December 2016, connection on 23 August 2017. URL : http://anglophonia.revues.org/898 ; DOI : 10.4000/anglophonia.898

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About the author

Bénédicte Guillaume

Université de Nice - Sophia Antipolis and UMR 6039 Bases, Corpus et Langage; guillaum@unice.fr

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Copyright

Licence Creative Commons
Anglophonia – French Journal of English Linguistics est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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