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What is the function of the "as"?

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What is the function of the "as"?

Postby pdh0224 » Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:31 am

Dear teacher,

Even in the places where Jews undoubtedly achieved prominence, as in Hollywood, it is worth wondering whether they did so as Jews or as Americans. In loving the movies, did mainstream America learn to have Jewish dreams, or did the immigrant Jews of Hollywood simply learn to have American dreams?

Q : What is the function of "as" in the sentence? I think it is an adverb. What do you think?


All the best, :)
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Postby p.patrick » Sun Sep 05, 2004 10:17 am

"as" here is a prep
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Postby Alan » Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:09 am

Sorry to disagree, but 'as' here is a predicate-focused sentential relative pronoun: the phrase is elliptical for 'as THEY DID in Hollywood', with the antecedent being the nominalized predication of the main clause (= their achieving prominence...).
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Postby pdh0224 » Mon Sep 06, 2004 7:38 pm

Alan wrote:Sorry to disagree, but 'as' here is a predicate-focused sentential relative pronoun: the phrase is elliptical for 'as THEY DID in Hollywood', with the antecedent being the nominalized predication of the main clause (= their achieving prominence...).


I see what you mean. I thought you consider about the structure "as in Hollywood" don't modify anything in the given sentence. The reason I think about it like that is because the antecedent nominalized phrase you mentioned doesn't exist in the sentence. "their achieving prominence..." is only in your thought. Conclusively, There is no something modified by "as in Hollywood" in the sentnence because there is not "their achieving prominence..." in the sentence. How could it be possible? That is, How could it be possible that something in a sentence modify not a surface part (..Jews undoubtedly achieved prominence..) but a meaning (their achieving prominence...)in our thought?
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Postby pdh0224 » Mon Sep 06, 2004 7:58 pm

I have an another idea.

Even in the places where Jews undoubtedly achieved prominence, as (prominence) in Hollywood,

The meaning and function of the "as" is same with a proposition "like". It specifies "achieved prominence". It make Readers know "the places" refers to "Hollywood"


What do you think?
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Postby Alan » Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:35 am

pdh wrote:The reason I think about it like that is because the antecedent nominalized phrase you mentioned doesn't exist in the sentence. "their achieving prominence..." is only in your thought. Conclusively, There is no something modified by "as in Hollywood" in the sentnence because there is not "their achieving
******************************************************

It doesn't need to exist explicitly: the phrase is putatively nominalized, just as the entire clause (Mozart was a genius) that constitutes the antecedent of the objective sentential 'as' of

Mozart was a genius, AS you probably know.

is putatively nominalized as 'THE FACT THAT Mozart was a genius'. Without at least putative nominalization, the label 'antecedent' is meaningless, either for a clause or a predication, since a relative pronoun, by definition, refers to a nominal element - i.e. a noun or noun substitute.
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Postby Alan » Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:49 am

The meaning and function of the "as" is same with a proposition "like". It specifies "achieved prominence". It make Readers know "the places" refers to "Hollywood"

******************************************************
Not really. 'As' is never a true preposition: the closest that it ever gets to this word-class is when it functions as quasi-prepositional conjunction, as in

AS your friend, I must advise you to act quickly.

in which it has a very specific meaning, that of 'acting/speaking in the role or capacity of...'.

Plainly it does not have that meaning in the case in question (that is, the phrase in the original sentence under consideration does not mean *acting in the capacity of Hollywood) .

It may not be reckoned a true preposition for the simple reason that such as-phrases always have an implicit subject (he who is acting or speaking in the capacity or role of...), which must be the same as that of the matrix clause. (Thus, in the example above, it is I who am your friend, and I who am giving the advice). True prepositional phrases, in comparison, do not have 'subjects', but act simply as adjectival or adverbial modifiers.
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Postby pdh0224 » Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:36 am

Dear teacher,

Q1 :What are other predicate-focused sentential relative pronouns except for "As" ? How many they are?

Q2 : How many kinds of a relative pronoun exist?
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Postby Alan » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:39 am

1. There is only one other sentential relative pronoun, and that is 'which'.

2. Relative pronouns may be divided into two main categories: ADNOMINAL and NOMINAL. Adnominal relative pronouns (i.e. those introducing adnominal, or adjectival, clauses) can be further subdivided into SENTENTIAL and NONSENTENTIAL (or 'general'): a general/nonsentential relative pronoun is the form that we most typically think of when speaking of relative pronouns, i.e. 'who, which' etc. taking a simple noun phrase as their antecedent. A sentential relative pronoun, on the other hand, takes either an entire clause, or else the predicate of a clause, as its antecedent. Examples:

'Full' sentential:

They lost the game, AS was only to be expected.

('As', standing as subject of the relative clause, refers to the putatively nominalized main clause the fact that they lost the game.)

'Predicate-focused' sentential:

He teaches school, AS I did when I was young.

('As', here the object of the verb 'did', refers to the putatively nominalized predicate of the main clause, teaching school ).


A nominal relative pronoun is one which introduces a nominal clause, such as 'what' in

This is WHAT he told me.
Last edited by Alan on Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby pdh0224 » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:57 am

Alan wrote:'Predicate-focused' sentential:

He teaches school, AS I did when I was young.

('As', here the object of the verb 'did', refers to the putatively nominalized predicate of the main clause, i.e. teaching school).


It is interesting that "teaches school" is considered a "sentence". I believe it is in fact in "a category of a phrase" because "sentence" or "clause" must have at least "a subject + a verb", isn't it? I think the categorization is based on increasing "an efficiency of a classification".


Alan wrote:1. There is only one other sentential relative pronoun, and that is 'which'.


How about "than"? When I came across a sentence with "than", I think it is similar with "as" when it comes to "elliptical sentential antecedent". I believe "than" has also a character of a relative pronoun, but "than-clause , phrase" stands as an adverbial or adnominal post modifier to a comparative word.

#1
The report provided evidence that employment will continue to grow in the months before the November election, but much more slowly than administration officials had hoped just a few months ago.

:Similar with "Predicate-focused sentential Raltive pronoun"

=> than administration officials had hoped (continuing to grow in the months before the November election) just a few months ago

#2
Even with the new jobs created last month, economists said that employment had grown more slowly since the end of the recession of 2001 than during any previous recovery in the last half century.

: Similar with ""Predicate-focused sentential Raltive pronoun"

=> than (It did Growing ) during any previous recovery in the last half century

#3
Taken together, the increases in wages and in hours worked could mean that consumers will have more money to spend than previously thought.

:Similar with ""Predicate-focused sentential Raltive pronoun"

=> than (It is) previously thought (Having money to spend)

#4
As in previous months, unemployment in August had less to do with mass layoffs than with a reluctance to hire.

:"AS" as "Full-sentential Raltive pronoun"

=> As (unemployment in August had less to do with mass layoffs than with a reluctance to hire) in previous months,..

:Similar with "Predicate-focused sentential Raltive pronoun"

=> than (It DID having less to do) with a reluctance to hire

#5
The Labor Department estimated that 534,000 people were too discouraged to look for work, about the same number as in July but about 30,000 more than in August 2003.

:Similar with "Predicate-focused sentential Raltive pronoun"

=> as (They Did estimating that people were too discouraged to look for work) in July but about 30,000 more than (They Did estimating that 534,000 people were too discouraged to look for work) in August 2003

#6
But the labor participation remains lower today than it was two years ago or at the start of the recession.

:Similar with "Adnominal nonsentential Raltive pronoun"

=> than it was (the labor participation) two years ago or at the start of the recession
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