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The Sahara Desert is a place where only 250 mm of rain falls in a year. The temperature is terribly high in the daytime, but it can also fall below 0°C at night. However, it's an amazing place, full of excitement and wonder, where a variety of animals survive in their own way. Let's spend a day in the Sahara Desert.


ex1) it's an amazing place, (which is) full of excitement and wonder, where a variety of animals survive in their own way

In the sentence above, a relative pronoun 'which' and be 'is' are omitted

My question is why two commas ( , ) are used in the sentence


Is this sentence awkward?

ex2) it's an amazing place which is full of excitement and wonder where a variety of animals survive in their own way (without two commas)

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HoonyIn the sentence above, a relative pronoun 'which' and be 'is' are omitted.

Yes. This used to be called "Whiz-Deletion", where the wh-word (which includes 'that') and a form of be, such as 'is' (pronounced iz), are deleted from a relative clause. The resulting clause is sometimes called a reduced relative clause.

HoonyMy question is why two commas ( , ) are used in the sentence.

Relative clauses can be restrictive or non-restrictive. Non-restrictive means, essentially, parenthetical. Non-restrictive clauses are set off by commas.

HoonyIs this sentence awkward? ...
It's an amazing place which is full of excitement and wonder where a variety of animals survive in their own way

It's not particularly awkward, but it shows that the writer is thinking of the reduced relative clause as restrictive, i.e., supplying information necessary for specifying which place is being referred to. That's a slightly odd way for the speaker to think of it, though, because we know nothing more about which place it is just because it is full of excitement and wonder. Many places are full of excitement and wonder. So the wonder we have as readers is why the writer omitted the commas. Emotion: smile

CJ

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HoonyHowever, it's an amazing place, full of excitement and wonder, where a variety of animals survive in their own way. Let's spend a day in the Sahara Desert.ex1) it's an amazing place, (which is) full of excitement and wonder, where a variety of animals survive in their own way In the sentence above, a relative pronoun 'which' and be 'is' are omitted

No: nothing is omitted. The phrase "full of excitement and wonder" is simply a supplementary ascriptive AdjP. It can be expanded to "which is full of excitement and wonder", but that would be a different construction.

Note that a clause without a relativized element, either overt or covert, cannot be a relative clause.

HoonyMy question is why two commas ( , ) are used in the sentence

The commas mark the phrase as being a supplement rather than a dependent. As is typical with supplements, it would have a slight pause in speech.

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Comments  
BillJA clause without a relativized element, either overt or covert, cannot be a relative clause.

I would have said it was covert. I guess I don't know what you mean by 'covert'.

CJ

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CalifJimI would have said it was covert. I guess I don't know what you mean by 'covert'.

Ah, fair enough. This is the way I see it:


The film which I needed is not available. [overt]

The film I needed ___ is not available. [covert]


But neither of those constructions applies to the OP's example, which is best analysed as an ascriptive AdjP.

There's a semantic similarity, of course, but not a syntactic one, since there is no possibility of inserting a relative phrase, cf. *It's an amazing place, which full of excitement and wonder ...

And the verb is missing too, but then we don't want to be positing a deleted verb.

BillJNo: nothing is omitted. The phrase "full of excitement and wonder" is simply a supplementary ascriptive AdjP.Note that a clause without a relativized element, either overt or covert, cannot be a relative clause.

ex1) It's an amazing place, full of excitement and wonder, where a variety of animals survive in their own way.

ex2) It's an amazing place, which is full of excitement and wonder, where a variety of animals survive in their own way.

ex3) It's an amazing place, and it is full of excitement and wonder, where a variety of animals survive in their own way.


According to your opinion, adjP can be a supplementary function independently ?


I think both "full of excitement and wonder" and "which is full of excitement and wonder" function as a supplement for 'an amazing place'. Especially, in the second example, it seems that 'an amazing place' is an antecedent and 'which' is a subject relative pronoun. In addition, I heard that 'subject relative pronoun' and 'be' can be omitted.......


My opinion is based on the contents from the grammar book published in Korea

ex1) It's an amazing place which is full of excitement and wonder where a variety of animals survive in their own way (restrictive)

ex2) It's an amazing place, which is full of excitement and wonder, where a variety of animals survive in their own way (non-restrictive)

ex3) It's an amazing place, full of excitement and wonder, where a variety of animals survive in their own way

('which is' is omitted)


My opinion is

ex1) : relative clause 'which is full of excitement and wonder' modifies the antecedent 'an amazing place and indicates which place is referred to


ex2) and ex3) have the same meaning.

which is full of excitement and wonder and full of excitement and wonder provide a supplementary information about 'an amazing place'. Therefore, they are not necessarily required.


I have suggested my opinion based on the grammar book published in Korea

Those content are acceptable by most Korean students

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HoonyI have suggested my opinion based on the grammar book published in Korea

Good, I'm very pleased for you.

The phrase "full of excitement and wonder" is indeed a supplement.

BillJAnd the verb is missing too, but then we don't want to be positing a deleted verb.

Right. Much of my knowledge of grammar comes from the days when there were deep structures and surface structures, and there were "transformations" to arrive at the latter from the former. Whiz-Deletion was one of those transformations.

I still believe that thinking in terms of deep and surface structures is a good way to explain sentences. The latest theories mostly pooh-pooh that.

A difference in approach.

CJ