a woman who I liked and was dating

Given this sentence I think the noun phrases should be

a woman who I and a woman

is this correct, or should the 'who' and 'I' pronouns also be considered a noun phrase in there own right?

  • 2
    Please reread your post. It does not make sense. – Lambie Sep 27 '19 at 22:26
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    The whole of your example is an NP. Within the NP are three further NPs "a woman", "who" and "I". – BillJ Sep 28 '19 at 6:57
  • but the example, cannot be an NP right, because 'was' and 'dating' are verbs? – John Sep 28 '19 at 8:12
  • @John Yes, it is a noun phrase because it refers to a woman. The fact that "who I liked and was dating" describes the woman more than simply "a woman" doesn't invalidate "a woman who I liked and was dating" as an NP. And: it can function as a noun and be followed by a verb, "A woman who I liked and was dating managed General Electric." – Andrew Leach Sep 28 '19 at 8:56
  • @John It's a noun phrase with the noun "woman" as head of the NP "a woman". "Woman" is modified by the relative clause "who I liked and was dating", in which "who" and "I" are NPs. – BillJ Sep 28 '19 at 9:03

The phrase who I liked and was dating is a relative clause functioning as a quasi-adjective modifying the noun phrase a woman. You can't separate out who I, because the relative pronoun who governs the subordinate clause I liked [her] and was dating [her] as a whole.

I hope this answers your question, which I do not fully understand.

(I'm liberal enough to resist the urge to change who to whom.)

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  • Right. Who I is not a constituent but a part of a constituent; and syntactic rules only apply to constituents. – John Lawler Sep 29 '19 at 20:13

"who I liked and was dating" is a relative clause that functions to define "woman." "A woman who I, a woman ..." puts "a woman" in apposition to "I," which means the "I" is a woman. Vastly different meanings.


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