Monday, January 17, 2011

Unusual Words Defined: A - Z (Part S)

A continuation of the series.

A hollow made in the snow by a skier who has fallen backward.
[Partial translation of German Sitzmarke : Sitz, act of sitting; see sitz bath + Marke, mark.]

Definition from


Anonymous said...

Hi Laura,

I hope you are well!

This isn't a comment for this post, but I couldn't figure out how to email, so am communicating this way! I wondered if you could help me with a grammar question.

"I will show you what is behind the scarf"

I want to say that although it is an example of subordination, 'what is behind my scarf' is not a relative clause, because 'what' is not a relative pronoun and does not refer to a noun in the previous clause.

Would you agree?

It's for an assignment - I'm analysing some child language data and just would like a second opinion on this if you wouldn't mind.

Thanks so much for your time and sharing your knowledge!

Amber (UK)

Laura Payne said...

Hi Amber,

You are correct. A relative clause is an embedded clause that modifies a head noun in the main clause. A relative clause is often, but not always, introduced by a relative pronoun. In your example sentence "what" is not a relative pronoun as it does not refer to a noun in the main clause; it would be considered a DP or an NP because it could be replaced by "a book" or "a flower" for example.

"I will show you, a book is behind the scarf."

Hope this helps.

I will soon be adding a link so that readers can submit questions.

Good luck with your class.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much!

And a post for questions sounds like a great idea!

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