From: Joe Calabrese <calabjunr.edu>
Subject: Ross's Rule
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R.L Trask mentions two rules in 'Language: The Basics,' (pp. 34) one of
which is referred to by Trask as 'Ross's rule', or the complex noun phrase
1. Example: 'The guests who arrived in a car are ready to go home.'
Does Ross's rule say we can't ask a (grammatical question) about the car in
the relative clause?
How about 'Which car did the guests who are ready to leave arrive in?'
2. Concerning the 'complex noun phrase constraint': We can't ask a
question about the car in 'The rumor that John has stolen a car is
But, isn't the following a grammatical question about the car?
'Which is the car that the false rumor claims John has stolen?'
I appreciate any attention you might give to this.
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