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Hi,

ex1) But by the mid-1990s, even as she was moving into acting with films like “The Bodyguard” and “The Preacher’s Wife,” she became what she described, in a 2009 interview with Oprah Winfrey, as a “heavy” user of marijuana and cocaine.

ex2) Ms. Houston arrived at the hotel with what Lieutenant Rosen described as an entourage of friends and family, some of whom were in the hotel suite at the time.

ex3) Lieutenant Rosen said that detectives had arrived to conduct what he said was a full-scale investigation into the death.

The parts in red bold are examples of fused relative clauses. The sentences in which the fused relatives are embeded are derived from the following procedures:

ex1)

A: She became someone.
B: She described someone as a heavy user of marijuana and cocaine.

1. Combining these two sentences into one with the relativised element being "someone" gives you:

She became someone that she described as a heavy user of marijuana and cocaine.

2. Now replacing the "someone that" part with "what" gives you:

She became what she described as a heavy user of marijuana and cocaine, which is the final outcome.

Q1) Did I get that right? (I won't do the rest of the examples since the procedures are nearly identical)

Q2) As for examples 1 and 2, do the parts that come right after "as" represent the words actually said by Ms. Houston and Lieutenant Rosen, respectively?

I notice that in the fused relative phrase of example 1, the quotation marks were put around the word "heavy".

Q3) Is there a reason for doing this?

Q4) As for example 3, isn't it true that the fused relative phrase is somewhat redundant? Couldn't the whole sentence have been written as the following?

Lietenant Rosen said that detectives had arrived to conduct a full-scale investigation into the death.

I don't know why the writer had to emphasize that "a full-scale investigation into the death" was the actual wording of Rosen when you already know the "that-clause" is an indirect reported speech. Does it have something to do with the fact that an indirect reported speech isn't necessarily a representation of someone's actual wording?

I'd appreciate your help.
Comments  
jooneyQ1) Did I get that right? (I won't do the rest of the examples since the procedures are nearly identical)
Your approach seems reasonable to me.
jooneyQ2) As for examples 1 and 2, do the parts that come right after "as" represent the words actually said by Ms. Houston and Lieutenant Rosen, respectively?
No, but they are probably quite close.
jooneyI notice that in the fused relative phrase of example 1, the quotation marks were put around the word "heavy". Q3) Is there a reason for doing this?
Possibly to say that Houston actually used the word "heavy".
Possibly to say that "heavy" is an understatement.
We can only speculate why the writer chose to use the quote marks.
jooneyQ4) As for example 3, isn't it true that the fused relative phrase is somewhat redundant? Couldn't the whole sentence have been written as the following?Lietenant Rosen said that detectives had arrived to conduct a full-scale investigation into the death.
It is somewhat redundant, but it does emphasize that it is Rosen, and not the writer of the article, who is characterizing the investigation as full-scale.

CJ
Great! It's very clear now why the writer wrote it that way. Thank you very much for the help, CJ.Emotion: smile
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Q1) I would just call the red parts noun clauses.

ex1) But by the mid-1990s, even as she was moving into acting with films like “The Bodyguard” and “The Preacher’s Wife,” she became what she described, in a 2009 interview with Oprah Winfrey, as a “heavy” user of marijuana and cocaine.

In the following version, the object of the verb is "user."
She became a "heavy" user.

But, the writer does not want to say that directly, because it was the actress's opinion or self-assessment from 2009, not the direct knowledge of the writer.
So, the object "user" is replaced by a noun clause.
"what she described as a 'heavy' user...."

Q3)
The quotes around "heavy" show that the description was qualified at the time of the interview.

Q2)Perhaps their exact words, a paraphrase or an excerpt. It is close to the source.

ex3) Lieutenant Rosen said that detectives had arrived to conduct what he said was a full-scale investigation into the death.
You asked if it could have been written as:

Lietenant Rosen said that detectives had arrived to conduct a full-scale investigation into the death.

Q4)
No. The reporter is telling us that Rosen did not say this in a single sentence. Perhaps it is a paraphrase of a longer interview in which he is describing the investigation, or perhaps it comes from different interviews or statements.
Thank you for your answer, Astars.

But, the writer does not want to say that directly, because it was the actress's opinion or self-assessment from 2009, not the direct knowledge of the writer. So, the object "user" is replaced by a noun clause.

"what she described as a 'heavy' user...."

Q1) So in essence, the writer used the fused relative or the noun clause, if you will, to emphasize that it was Houston that said those words or something very close to those words. Correct?

You asked if it could have been written as:

Lietenant Rosen said that detectives had arrived to conduct a full-scale investigation into the death.

No. The reporter is telling us that Rosen did not say this in a single sentence. Perhaps it is a paraphrase of a longer interview in which he is describing the investigation, or perhaps it comes from different interviews or statements.

Q2) Can I look at it this way? The exact wording of Rosen might have been as follows:

"The detectives just arrived at the scene to launch a full-scale investigation into Ms. Houston's death."

The writer converted this into an indirect speech which has a close paraphrase of what Rosen actually said. But he didn't stop there. He wanted to empasize that the "full-scale" was the actual words used by Rosen. For this reason, he had to use the fused relative phrase.
Q1) So in essence, the writer used the fused relative or the noun clause, if you will, to emphasize that it was Houston that said those words or something very close to those words. Correct?

Yes, if Houston is the unidentified actress in the sentence.

Q2) Can I look at it this way? The exact wording of Rosen might have been as follows:

"The detectives just arrived at the scene to launch a full-scale investigation into Ms. Houston's death."

Perhaps it was more like this:

"The detectives have just arrived at the scene. Because of the sensitivity of the case, and the prominence of the victim, various agencies are participating from the federal, state, and local levels. There is no evidence of foul play at this point in time, but we want to make sure that the investigation is thorough. It may take some time because it will be a full scale investigation, leaving no doubt as to the answer that is found."

The reporter wants to capture what they thought was the most important point in a short sentence, and let the reader know the source.
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I see. Thank you very much for your help, Astars.Emotion: smile