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In books written in the nineteenth century, you can come across sentences like this (quoting from Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary):

A Pilgrim Father was one who, leaving Europe in 1620 because not permitted to sing psalms through his nose, followed it [the pilgrim] to Massachusetts, where he could personate God according to the dictates of his conscience.

Another well-known writer in whose works I'm certain I found this kind of usage is Jane Austen.

I'm not sure I understand this usage.

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I see it as a simple case of omission. The longer sentence would in fact be:

A Pilgrim Father was one who, leaving Europe in 1620 because (he was) not permitted to sing psalms...

It makes sense too and not old-fashioned, archaic or anything. Because the writer is using a V+ing Participial Phrase ("leaving Europe"), it's better to just add another P.P. Participial Phrase ("not permitted").

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  • «because of not being permitted», too Jun 26, 2012 at 5:29
  • Cool Elf, may I suggest you use the Blockquote when answering (the large " on the toolbar). It avoids the horizontal scrollbar when the line is long. Jun 26, 2012 at 5:34
  • So does that mean I can't use this in a sentence like this: "I couldn't make it because ill." Jun 26, 2012 at 5:55
  • @Brian, thanks for telling me that. I'll try it next time
    – Cool Elf
    Jun 26, 2012 at 7:15
  • @Kaiser, "because" is a Conjunction so it can't be followed by a Noun - or an Adjective like in your example
    – Cool Elf
    Jun 26, 2012 at 7:17

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