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hello teachers

I suppose relative pronouns follow the nearest antecedent

The use of lie detectors is based on the assumption that lying produces emotional reactions in an individual that , in turn, create unconscious physiological responses.

But that here doesn't refer to indviduals .then is this sentence correct.

when does a relative pronoun not refer to nearest antecedent

Please explain

Thank you
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Rahul2689The use of lie detectors is based on the assumption that lying produces emotional reactions in an individual that , in turn, create unconscious physiological responses.
I have never heard of a rule about the antecedents of reltive pronouns. You example is as clear as can be: reactions is plural and so is create. Therfore the singular an individual cannot be the antecedent.

CB
When a relative pronoun is separated from its antecedent, it is called a REMOTE RELATIVE. Usage experts suggest that the sentence be rephrased so that the relative pronoun immediately follows the antecedent. This makes it easier for the listener/ reader to understand the meaning. In fact, some usage experts suggest breaking a confusing sentence into two sentences, if necessary.
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The police found the murder weapon,which made the prosecutor's job much easier

wht about this
There is no ambiguity here and only someone without much better to do with take exception to this sentence. The "which" refers to the entire sense of finding the murder weapon.
Do relative pronouns follow the nearest antecedent ???
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Rahul2689Do relative pronouns follow the nearest antecedent ???
You are speaking as if there were several antecedents, and one of them is nearest the relative pronoun, where in fact there is always only one. You are confusing "noun" with "antecedent". There may be several nouns which are candidates for being antecedents, but there is only one antecedent.

And the antecedent need not be the noun nearest to the relative pronoun. The relative pronoun probably follows its antecedent directly 98% of the time, but it does not have to. As in the example above, the verb form within the relative clause may help to locate the antecedent, but in other cases you have to resort to common sense.

Also, in the case of a final which clause preceded by a comma, there might not be any single noun that serves as an antecedent. The clause then refers to the whole idea expressed earlier in the sentence.

CJ
yes I was mixing nouns with antecedent . I was trying to say if their are several candidates(nouns) that can serve as an antecedent .

In sentence The police found the weapon ,which made prosecutor's job easier.

My friend says which is refering to weapon and hence this construcion is wrong .He says it should be

The police found the weapon,making prosecutpr's job easier.

What i am trying to ask is that whether Which is correct in the first sentence since noun Weapon is creating ambiguity or not??
Rahul2689The police found the murder weapon,which made the prosecutor's job much easier
As others have said, the sentence is correct (if you add a space after the comma and a full stop / period at the end). In theory, which can refer to both the entire main clause (The police found the murder weapon) or just the murder weapon since there is no relative pronoun in English whose sole purpose is to refer to an entire clause. Common sense must be used to determine the correct antecedent, which in this case is probably the entire main clause. Nothing grammatical substantiates this, though.

CB
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