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Here is the sentence:

A person who agrees to serve as mediator between two warring factions at the request of both abandons by so agreeing the right to take sides later. To take sides at a later point would be to suggest that the earlier presumptive impartiality was a sham.

I don't understand the meaning of "by so" in this sentences. Does the sentence mean "by abandoning agreeing the right to take sides later, a person can become a mediator", or "by serving as mediator, a person must abandon taking sides later"? What does the "so" refer to? And is "by so" a "adverbial modifier" of "abandon agreeing"?

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by so agreeing = by making this agreement // by so agreeing is an adverbial modifying abandons (the option of taking sides later on). –  Edwin Ashworth Apr 28 '13 at 7:39
    
google.com/… (so: "in the way described or demonstrated; thus") –  MετάEd Apr 28 '13 at 16:47
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closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, Kristina Lopez, MετάEd, Kris, Hellion Apr 29 '13 at 19:10

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1 Answer

up vote 10 down vote accepted

It's parsed: [by][so agreeing] instead of [by so][agreeing]

The essence of the sentence is:

A person who agrees to serve, abandons (gives up) the right to take sides.

You can substitute "by agreeing in this way" for "by so agreeing":

A person who agrees to serve as mediator between two warring factions at the request of both, abandons (by agreeing in this way) the right to take sides later.

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