1

At the same time, dozens of videos of the weapons were being uploaded from Daraya, all showing that the weapons were being used by the Free Syrian Army

**Source-New Yorker magazine https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/11/25/rocket-man-2

Why I think it's an absolute phrase-

The structure is in line with that of an absolute phrase,i.e noun followed by a participle, and it is modifying the main clause

2
  • 1
    What's the source of this quote? What do you think the answer is? Please expand your question.
    – Laurel
    Nov 29, 2023 at 4:39
  • @Laurel I have updated the question Nov 29, 2023 at 4:49

2 Answers 2

2

all of which showed that the weapons were being used by the Free Syrian Army is not an absolute phrase.

It is (in traditional grammar terms) a nonrestrictive reduced relative clause with a quantifier. You can see its function more clearly when it’s unreduced and moved next to its noun phrase:

At the same time, dozens of videos of the weapons, all of which showed that the weapons were being used by the Free Syrian Army, were being uploaded from Daraya.

The relative clause modifies dozens in the noun phrase dozen of videos of the weapons. All quantifies the relative pronoun which, which refers to dozens (and which disappears in the reduction):

At the same time, dozens of videos of the weapons, all showing that the weapons were being used by the Free Syrian Army, were being uploaded from Daraya.

Because the noun phrase is trapped at the beginning of a passive voice construction, its long relative clause is moved to the end. You can see how movement would be unnecessary in the active voice:

At the same time, [someone] was uploading dozens of videos of the weapons, all showing that the weapons were being used by the Free Syrian Army.

2

According to Huddleston & Pullum (2002), it is a gerund-participial clause acting as a supplement (pp. 1265-1268, 1359-1360). It isn't quite like an ordinary absolute construction, since it's "anchored" (in their terms) to a specific noun phrase within the clause, in this case "dozens of videos of the weapons," which it serves to describe.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.