1

I want to explain my problems with the following sentences:

"Even boldly going where few have gone doesn't always lead to radical conclusions. Over the years, researchers have set up weather-monitoring stations in remote areas of Antarctica. According to data from stations on the Ross Ice Shelf -where almost all those taking part in Robert Scott's ill-fated South Pole expedition perished sometime between late February and mid-March of 1912 - temperatures as low as those recorded in Scott's journal have been documented only once in the past 15 years."

1) In "where almost all those ......", who does those refer to?

2) That same clause started with where. What place does this dependent clause refer to?

3) What is the independent clause for this dependent clause?

2

The clause in question:

where almost all those taking part in Robert Scott's ill-fated South Pole expedition perished sometime between late February and mid-March of 1912

where: the Ross Ice Shelf

those: the people that took part in Robert Scott's ill-fated South Pole expedition

2

According to data from stations on the Ross Ice Shelf -where almost all those taking part in Robert Scott's ill-fated South Pole expedition perished sometime between late February and mid-March of 1912 - temperatures as low as those recorded in Scott's journal have been documented only once in the past 15 years.

  1. In the subordinate clause: where almost all those taking part in Robert Scott's ill-fated South Pole expedition perished sometime between late February and mid-March of 1912, those is a determiner for a reduced noun phrase: [people] taking part in Robert Scott's ill-fated South Pole expedition. The word people is not written, but it is clearly implied, which allows those to be parsed as a pronoun in that context.

  2. Where refers back to the location specified immediately before it: on the Ross Ice Shelf.

  3. The independent clause is at the end of the sentence: temperatures as low as those recorded in Scott's journal have been documented only once in the past 15 years. Temperatures is the subject of the passive verbal phrase have been documented.

0

"Where almost all those taking part in Robert Scott's ill-fated South Pole expedition perished sometime between late February and mid-March of 1912" is a (non-restrictive) relative clause, introduced by the relative adverb "where", which refers back to the antecedent The Ross Ice Shelf.

Those is a pronoun. It is often deictic (pointing), but here it serves as the antecedent to the participial phrase taking part in Robert Scott's ill-fated South Pole expedition. So on its own it has no designand; but it nominalises the participial phrase, giving the sense "the ones who took part ... "

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