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According to Wikipedia, the relative pronoun links two clauses into a single complex clause. The following sentences are from Wikipedia (Relative pronoun) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_pronoun

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(1) This is a house. Jack built this house.

(2) This is the house that Jack built.

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I don’t think people say (1) in usual conversation. People will not show the house and say, “This is a house,” unless it does not look like a house, because everybody can tell a house from other things. Moreover, English learners wonder why “a house” in (1) changes to “the house” when “This is a house.” is linked to “Jack built this house.” in sentence (2).

The following sentence order can occur.

(a) Jack built a house. This is the house.

Then, isn’t it possible to think that the second sentence (“This is the house” in the above case) can link to the first sentence (“Jack built a house.”) to make the sentence, “This is the house that Jack built.”?
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I am not sure why you would use Wikipedia as your source for grammar information when dedicated manuals are readily available. The advantage the manual has over Wikipedia is that the information has been organized for maximum usefulness. I must say that the definition of 'relative pronoun' you have provided is unique, in my experience.

Normally, we do not think of relative pronouns as 'linking' clauses as much as we think of them as 'introducing' restrictive elements, 'relating' one clause to the other more than linking two of them.

In your example, 'that' is adding information which makes it easier to understand the meaning of the sentence. We might just as well say, "This is the house Jack built."

"Jack built" is not a clause. The addition of "that" does not turn it into one.

There is such a thing as a linking verb, which is usually a form of 'to be' used as in, "John is a soldier." Talking about linking functions of relative pronouns invites confusion.

I am not familiar withthe term "complex clause." That doesn't mean it does not exist, but, since we often talk about sentences as being simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex, I might think additional confusion was being invited.

"This is the house that Jack built," is correct.

What your questions seem to be more concerned with is the difference between the definite and the indefinite article.
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ed_shawI am not sure why you would use Wikipedia as your source for grammar information when dedicated manuals are readily available. The advantage the manual has over Wikipedia is that the information has been organized for maximum usefulness. I must say that the definition of 'relative pronoun' you have provided is unique, in my experience.

Normally, we do not think of relative pronouns as 'linking' clauses as much as we think of them as 'introducing' restrictive elements, 'relating' one clause to the other more than linking two of them.

In your example, 'that' is adding information which makes it easier to understand the meaning of the sentence. We might just as well say, "This is the house Jack built."

"Jack built" is not a clause. The addition of "that" does not turn it into one.

There is such a thing as a linking verb, which is usually a form of 'to be' used as in, "John is a soldier." Talking about linking functions of relative pronouns invites confusion.

I am not familiar withthe term "complex clause." That doesn't mean it does not exist, but, since we often talk about sentences as being simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex, I might think additional confusion was being invited.

"This is the house that Jack built," is correct.

What your questions seem to be more concerned with is the difference between the definite and the indefinite article.

I wanted to quote the example sentences. I don’t usually use Wikipedia as my English grammatical resources.

1. I'm using a second-hand TV set that I bought five years ago.

Do people wonder how many second-hand TV sets I bought? Almost certainly not

2. A second-hand TV set that I bought last week at an online shopping site was of high-definition type.

They might wonder how many TV second-hand sets I bought, but if I say “The second-hand TV set (that) I bought...,” they will know I bought only one.

I wondered why sentence 2 confuses people. Besides, native speakers of English will not usually say like this.

Then I reached an assumption that:

Sentence 1 consists of “I’m using a second-hand TV set.” and “I bought it five years ago.” in this sentence order. This sentence order is natural. Therefore, the combined sentence is natural, too.

Sentence 2 consists of “A second-hand TV set was of high-definition type.” “I bought it last week at an online shopping site.” People usually don’t start the conversation like this. This sentence order is unnatural. Therefore, the combined sentence is unnatural.

Japanese people apt to make mistakes in the use of the definite and indefinite articles when they make sentences including relative pronouns. Therefore, I thought I would be a good idea to think like this when they make such sentences.

You are right. I don’t think native speakers of English combine two sentences in their brains when they say something using a relative pronoun.

ed_shaw
Jack built" is not a clause. The addition of "that" does not turn it into one.

There is such a thing as a linking verb, which is usually a form of 'to be' used as in, "John is a soldier." Talking about linking functions of relative pronouns invites confusion.


Are you saying here that 'built' is working as a linking verb and requires a complement, thus meaning it's currently ungrammatical?
Your analysis was very well done and easy to follow. Your mastery of English is sufficient to allow contributions that are enlightening to single language contributors, such as myself, in that points of confusion might be brought to light and acted upon.

In your examples, sentence two, "A second hand set...etc," would probably be accompanied by additional infomation. Our goal, plainly, is to reduce the need for supplemental information, or, at least, inform ourselves to the point at which we recognize it when supplemental information may be helpful.

Fundamentally, we are going to agree that the following are intelligible:

The dog that bit me was put away.
The man who hit me was arrested.

Now, what about this:

A dog that bit me was put away.
A man who hit me was arrested.

I ask you.
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Are you saying here that 'built' is working as a linking verb and requires a complement, thus meaning it's currently ungrammatical?

No, not all. I am very sorry. Astute of you to point that out and raise that issue.

Those thoughts were separate. My comment on linking verbs was intended to illustrate
the possibility of confusion that might be introduced by applying the term "linking" to a relative pronoun, when "linking" is an established term in grammar study that applies, normally,
to some form of the "to be" verb: is, are, am, was, etc.
John was skiiing. (Was functions as a linking verb to link the subject with the predicate -- establish tense, reinforce number, all that. )

A clause has a subject and a predicate. Can you accept 'built' as a predicate? If you can, then "john built" is a clause. If you wish, as I would, for a subject complement, such as "houses," then yes, 'built' links 'John' to 'houses' and is a linking verb.
ed_shawNow, what about this:

A dog that bit me was put away.

A man who hit me was arrested.

I ask you.

In my assumption that I mentioned in my last post,

"A dog that bit me was put away." can be split into "A dog bit me." and "The dog was put away."

The sentence order is natural. The sentence can be understood as "One dog bit me and the dog was put way."

"A man who hit me was arrested." can be spilit into "A man hit me." and "He was arrested." The sentence order is natural. The sentence can be understood as "One man hit me and he was arrested."

I think this type of sentence often occurs in news reports.

Example: "A man who admitted carrying out a street attack escaped an immediate prison sentence as it was accepted he took self-defence too far. "

This can be split into "A man escaped an immediate prison sentence as it was accepted he took self-defence too far." and "He admitted carry out a street attack."

In Japan, English learners are often trained to combine two sentence into one with a relative pronoun used. This confuses them, because Japanese does not have relative pronouns. Then some English leaners wonder why the example sentence does not begin with "The man" though it is modified by the relative clause "who admitted carrying out...."

So I thought that my assumption was a clue for them to select the right article (the definite article, indefinite article, or zero article).

I'd like to add one more thing.

"I am using the second-hand TV set that I bought three years ago." I think this sentence is possible, too according to my assumption, because it can be split into (1) "I bought a second-hand TV set three years ago. and (2) "I am using the second-hand TV set." though the sentence order is reversed. In my assumption, the second sentence can be linked to the first sentence as well.

I know native speakers do not make two sentences and combine them into a single sentence in their brains. This is just a way to understand the correct usage of articles.
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ed_shaw
Normally, we do not think of relative pronouns as 'linking' clauses as much as we think of them as 'introducing' restrictive elements, 'relating' one clause to the other more than linking two of them.

In your example, 'that' is adding information which makes it easier to understand the meaning of the sentence. We might just as well say, "This is the house Jack built."

"Jack built" is not a clause. The addition of "that" does not turn it into one.

There is such a thing as a linking verb, which is usually a form of 'to be' used as in, "John is a soldier." Talking about linking functions of relative pronouns invites confusion.

I am not familiar withthe term "complex clause." That doesn't mean it does not exist, but, since we often talk about sentences as being simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex, I might think additional confusion was being invited.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with Wiki (and many grammars as well) saying that relative pronouns link clauses - indeed that is exactly what they do. The ‘linking’ is the underlying phenomenon here; after all, it’s the relative pronoun ‘that’ that serves to join, or link, the two clauses: ‘This is a house’ and ‘Jack built this house’ into the single new clause: ‘This is the house that Jack built’. I like to think of it as the first stage in understanding what relative clauses are all about.

The second stage in understanding relatives is being able to analyse a sentence containing one; only then we can see that the same relative pronoun that ‘joined’ the separate sentences now also serves to link the relative clause to the head of a noun phrase. As you say, it does this by ‘introducing’ a relative clause. Importantly, the relative clause now becomes a postmodifier in a noun phrase. So, in ‘This is the house the Jack built’, the relative clause ‘that Jack built’ is modifying the noun ‘house’.

‘That Jack built’ is a clause because it has a subject (Jack), a verb (built) and, of course, 'that' is the object element. In fact it’s the (subordinate) relative clause in the sentence: ‘This is the house [that Jack built]. And, in the sentence: ‘This is the house [Jack built]’, the relative pronoun is called a ‘zero’, so ‘Jack built’ is just as much a clause as ‘that Jack built’.

The term ‘complex clause’ is synonymous with ‘complex sentence’; after all, a sentence is a (main) clause. Grammar terminology varies as we all know.

BillJ

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