Transparent free relatives with "who": Support for a unified analysis

Carson T. Schütze, Richard Stockwell


This paper provides novel data, including from acceptability ratings, supporting a unified analysis of Transparent Free Relatives (TFRs) as variants of Standard Free Relatives (SFRs), rather than entirely different beasts. Two arguments are presented. First, who-TFRs exist, contrary to the view in the literature that TFRs can only be formed with what. Second, who-TFRs degrade following the same illunderstood pattern as who-SFRs. These outcomes cohere better with accounts of TFRs that treat them as similar to SFRs, versus accounts that treat them as virtually unrelated.


standard free relatives; transparent free relatives; degradation of "who" free relatives; wh-words

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Copyright (c) 2019 Carson T. Schütze, Richard Stockwell

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