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Saxon Genitive + Relative Clause

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:33 pm
by freddie
Hello everyone.

I would like to know whether it is possible to refer to the possessor by using the relative pronoun "that" after a saxon genitive.

For instance: "His friend's sister that is studying in Rome..."

My question is: How can I be sure that you really understand that, by using the word "THAT", I DO mean to refer to the word "friend" and that I DON'T mean to refer to the word "sister"?

I look forward to reading your answers. Thank you very much.

Re: Saxon Genitive + Relative Clause

Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:56 am
by Alan
The antecedent of a relative pronoun is determined primarily by sense, and is normally taken to be the nearest preceding (appropriate) noun.

Regarding the case that you cite, I suspect that you mean to say

His friend's sister, WHO is studying in Rome,...

but, either way, the relative pronoun would automatically be understood as referring to the sister, not to the friend.

Possessive-case nouns in contemporary English, whether followed by other nouns or not, almost never occur as the antecedents of relative pronouns.