less arbitrariness than appeared...

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grammar-in-use

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi everyone,

I've just come across this sentence (from "The Grammar of Discourse", Teaching Language):

One of the reasons that grammar appears arbitrary is that we only look at it at the sentence level.
When we adopt a broader perspective we come to realize that there is a lot less arbitrariness than appeared at a narrower perspective.

My question:
Can I add "it" after "than", rewriting it as:
...there is a lot less arbitrariness than it appeared at a narrower perspective.
?

By adding "it", I understand the sentence structure of the "than it appeared" part as originating from the clause "it appeared that there was a lot of arbitrariness".
Does it make sense?

I'd really appreciate your help.
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No, you can't. It means 'there is a lot less arbitrariness than (the arbitrariness which) appeared at a narrower perspective.'

    There's no question of a dummy it.

    Your author doesn't write very well, Grammar-in-use.
     

    grammar-in-use

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    No, you can't. It means 'there is a lot less arbitrariness than (the arbitrariness which) appeared at a narrower perspective.'

    There's no question of a dummy it.
    Thank you very much for your replies. They led me to think about the parts of speech of "appeared" as used here.

    a. One of the reasons that grammar appears arbitrary is that we only look at it at the sentence level.

    I think "appears" in sentence "a" is a linking verb, meaning "seem" [grammar seems arbitrary].

    b. ...there is a lot less arbitrariness than appeared at a narrower perspective.

    Since "there's no question of a dummy it",then I think "appeared" in sentence "b" should be an intransitive verb, meaning "start to be seen".
    Am I right?
     
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