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What is an external relative clause?



An external relative clause is a relative clause whose head noun phrase is outside the relative clause.

Also known as:

External-headed relative clause


This type of relative clause is a modifier of a separately stated head noun. It does not take the place of the head noun, as does an internal relative clause.

Example (English)
  • In the following construction, the head noun phrase every student is outside the relative clause:

  • Every student whom Mary advised
  • Generic
      An external relative clause is a kind of

    Keenan 1985 143

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