Where did you eat <that you got this killer migraine>?

JungKim

Senior Member
Korean
American TV Show Gossip Girl has this conversation (transcript):
Dan: What exactly happened last night?
Chuck: I already told him... Dan, pointing at Chuck without looking away: I'm asking you.
Serena: Well, I got food poisoning, and then Chuck helped me out.
Dan: Okay, where exactly did you eat that you got this killer food poisoning migraine?
In the last sentence, what's the nature of the underlined that-clause?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It looks like a clumsy attempt to say ... that gave you this killer food-poisoning migraine?

    Of course, you could ask for the same information with a much simpler, clearer question: Where did you get food poisoning?
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    It's a clause headed by 'that' which points back to 'where' and there is a common referent {the place in question}. And what is your opinion, Jung Kim?
    I feel it's a relative clause referring back to where. But you seem to be hesitant about calling it a relative clause. If you are, why?
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Interesting. I think it's similar to this older usage (again, it's used after a question):
    that ever he had come nigh her

    where exactly did you eat that you got this killer food poisoning migraine?

    I'd gloss it as: Where exactly did you eat, with the result that you got this killer migraine?
    Actually, I was thinking the same thing. At first, I thought it was the resultative meaning with the normal 'so' omitted.
    Where exactly did you eat so that you got this killer food poisoning migraine?

    But as you have noted, this usage is somewhat old-fashioned, and wouldn't probably be uttered, so I thought, by a teenage character in a modern TV show. So the only remaining option was the relative clause reading. Hence, the question.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I don’t think it’s old-fashioned, and I don’t think @velisarius was suggesting it was. I think she was simply comparing the two usages structurally.

    The original sounds perfectly ordinary to me in contemporary English, and I immediately read “that” as “such that.”
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    But you seem to be hesitant about calling it a relative clause. If you are, why?
    It looks like a clumsy attempt to say ... that gave you this killer food-poisoning migraine?
    I'd gloss it as: Where exactly did you eat, with the result that you got this killer migraine?

    It seems to me that the sentence is poorly constructed and thus difficult to analyse. The "that you got this killer food poisoning migraine?" is more adjectival than relative, and the "that" appears to function more as a conjunction than a pronoun/relative.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I don’t think it’s old-fashioned, and I don’t think @velisarius was suggesting it was. I think she was simply comparing the two usages structurally.

    The original sounds perfectly ordinary to me in contemporary English, and I immediately read “that” as “such that.”
    Regardless of whether the resultative reading is contemporary English, is there anything that prevents us from reading the that-clause as a relative clause with where as its antecedent?
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    The "that you got this killer food poisoning migraine?" is more adjectival than relative, and the "that" appears to function more as a conjunction than a pronoun/relative.
    Is there an adjectival clause other than a relative clause?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If it modifies "where", then it's something like:
    What place that you got this killer food poisoning did you eat?
    That would mean "Out of the several places where you got this killer food poisoning, which one did you eat at?"
    That's not what the original sentence means.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Is there an adjectival clause other than a relative clause?
    I didn't mentioned "clause". And I did that on purpose. I said it was "more adjectival" i.e. functioning closer to an adjectival subordinate or a prepositional modifier than a relative.

    As I said, the sentence is poorly constructed and, to that extent, it defies analysis. To this I will add that reconstructing it will result in a different analyses.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Like veli, I'd say it's an older usage; but it clearly still exists in some varieties and registers of English.

    Here's what I'd say is the relevant OED definition, taken from the entry for that, conj:
    [3] b. Introducing a clause expressing a fact (with verb in the indicative), or a supposition (with verb in the subjunctive or with should) as a consequence attributed to the cause indicated by the main clause (which is most commonly interrogative); sometimes nearly ‘in consequence of which’; or (with indicative) ‘since, seeing that’.​
    OE [...]​
    1842 Ld. Tennyson Lady Clare in Poems (new ed.) II. 196 Are ye out of your mind,..that ye speak so wild?​
    1885 Sat. Rev. 21 Feb. 242/2 We are not pigeons that we should eat dry peas.​
    1898 G. B. Shaw Philanderer II. 106 My daughter wants to marry you! Who are you, pray, that she should have any such ambition?​
    [...]​
    2009 A. B. White McClain's Law ii. 13 Is something wrong that dad was in such a hurry?​
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    The sentence is well constructed, and @velisarius and I have given an appropriate analysis.
    Like I said, initially I did read it as a resultative clause. But I don't know why it can't be analyzed as a relative clause. You have yet to answer my question in post #12.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I’m thinking about it. To help me out, can you give me a couple sentences with “where” and a “that” clause in which you believe the “that” clause modifies “where”? In other words, a couple sentences that you believe have the structure you are asking about?
     
    Last edited:

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Like I said, initially I did read it as a resultative clause. But I don't know why it can't be analyzed as a relative clause. You have yet to answer my question in post #12.
    Myridon's post 14 looks convincing to me, JungKim. Like elroy, I'd be interested to see any examples you have of similar constructions which you would analyse as relatives.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Myridon's post 14 looks convincing to me, JungKim.
    Honestly, I don't quite understand what Myridon's post is supposed to mean.

    I’m thinking about it. To help me out, can you give me a couple sentences with “where” and a “that” clause in which you believe the “that” clause modifies “where”? In other words, a couple sentences that you believe have the structure you are asking about?
    Like elroy, I'd be interested to see any examples you have of similar constructions which you would analyse as relatives.

    The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 1060) has this example:
    iv Where can we go for lunch that isn’t too expensive?
    And says this:
    And the interrogative prepositions when and where – like nominal time and place – can serve as antecedents for integrated that relatives, which occur most readily in postposed position, as in [iv].
     
    Last edited:

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Honestly, I don't quite understand what Myridon's post is supposed to mean.
    That's precisely because it really doesn't work to treat the original sentence as containing a relative clause.:cool:
    The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 1060) has this example:
    Where can we go for lunch that isn’t too expensive?
    The CGEL example, on the other hand, does work:
    Where can we go for lunch that isn’t too expensive?
    = What place can we go to for lunch that isn’t too expensive?
    = What place that isn't too expensive can we go to for lunch?
    = What relatively inexpensive place can we go to for lunch?
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    The CGEL example, on the other hand, does work:
    Where can we go for lunch that isn’t too expensive?
    = What place can we go to for lunch that isn’t too expensive?
    = What place that isn't too expensive can we go to for lunch?
    = What relatively inexpensive place can we go to for lunch?
    In your paraphrase, you've replaced where with to what place. Let me try a similar paraphrase of the OP by replacing where with at what place:
    Where exactly did you eat that you got this killer food poisoning migraine?
    = At what place exactly did you eat that you got this killer food poisoning migraine at?
    = At what place that you got this killer food poisoning migraine at exactly did you eat?
    = What place that you got this killer food poisoning migraine at exactly did you eat at?


    That said, I don't know if any paraphrasing is the test to figure out whether the original works or not.
     

    icecreamsoldier

    Senior Member
    New Zealand English
    Why not? I wouldn't say them myself, but I can certainly understand them.
    One reason is the duplicates of 'at' which add confusion, and the sentences become ungrammatical.

    If you are simply aiming to replace 'where' with 'at what place', it becomes:
    At what place exactly did you eat that you got this killer food poisoning migraine?

    ...and we are left with the same problem of trying to understand the nature of the 'that...migraine' part. Others have explained it well in posts above, but I will try to explain how I see it, in simple terms.

    In essence, we have two sentences:
    1. Where exactly did you eat?
    2. You got this killer food poisoning migraine.

    Now, simplifying them:
    1. Where did you eat?
    2. You got sick.

    They are then joined using 'that', which acts as a conjunction (see Loob's post, #17), and we have our question:
    Where did you eat, that you got sick?
    --> Where did you eat, [so that/in order that/as a result of which] you got sick?
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    One reason is the duplicates of 'at' which add confusion, and the sentences become ungrammatical.

    If you are simply aiming to replace 'where' with 'at what place', it becomes:
    At what place exactly did you eat that you got this killer food poisoning migraine?

    ...and we are left with the same problem of trying to understand the nature of the 'that...migraine' part.
    Yes, it's better not to add the additional at in the relative clause, and your sentence can still be analyzed as having a relative clause:

    At what place exactly did you eat [that you got this killer food poisoning migraine ____]?

    Here, the blank indicates the gap in the bracketed relative clause whose antecedent is the underlined place. Note that the noun place can function as the antecedent of a relative clause without the help of a preposition such as in or at.

    This is the place [that you got this killer food poisoning migraine ____]. :tick:

    So I wonder why your sentence cannot be analyzed as having a relative clause.

    Others have explained it well in posts above, but I will try to explain how I see it, in simple terms.

    In essence, we have two sentences:
    1. Where exactly did you eat?
    2. You got this killer food poisoning migraine.

    Now, simplifying them:
    1. Where did you eat?
    2. You got sick.

    They are then joined using 'that', which acts as a conjunction (see Loob's post, #17), and we have our question:
    Where did you eat, that you got sick?
    --> Where did you eat, [so that/in order that/as a result of which] you got sick?
    Again, I'm not saying that this analysis is incorrect. All I'm asking is why the other analysis is impossible.
     
    JK {#32}example: This is the place [that you got this killer food poisoning migraine ____]. :tick:

    JK: So I wonder why your sentence cannot be analyzed as having a relative clause.

    Your example sentence above in your post #32, does indeed have a relative clause, but you have altered the structure and meaning of the original phrase, which, based on the previous discussion, seems to be NOT relative. That you can take a portion of the original and rewrite it to contain a relative clause simply proves your mental dexterity.:)
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Your example sentence above in your post #32, does indeed have a relative clause, but you have altered the structure and meaning of the original phrase, which, based on the previous discussion, seems to be NOT relative. That you can take a portion of the original and rewrite it to contain a relative clause simply proves your mental dexterity.:)
    Apparently, you've misread my post.
    I was saying that this sentence works as having a relative clause:
    At what place exactly did you eat [that you got this killer food poisoning migraine ____]?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Look again at Myridon's post 14, JungKim.

    If that etc were a relative clause, you'd have to parse the sentence (as you did in post 26) as
    At what place that you got this killer food poisoning migraine did you eat?

    But the meaning of that would be:
    > At which of the places that you got this killer food poisoning migraine did you eat?
     
    Last edited:

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Look again at Myridon's post 14, JungKim.

    If that etc were a relative clause, you'd have to parse the sentence (as you did in post 26) as
    At what place that you got this killer food poisoning migraine did you eat?

    But the meaning of that would be:
    > At which of the places that you got this killer food poisoning migraine did you eat?

    I don't get the final stage where you'd replace what place with which of the places.
    Why don't you do the same thing for CGEL's sentence?
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    I don't get the final stage where you'd replace what place with which of the places.
    Why don't you do the same thing for CGEL's sentence?
    I think the argument is based on the idea that a defining relative clause implies that its antecedent is undefined without that relative clause, thus multiple places (or multiple versions of the antecedent) must exist.
    But I think that argument is moving on thin ice.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    I think the "that" in question, if not a "such that", makes more sense as a "whence"/"wherefrom" than as a "whereat".

    An alternative reading of the original sentence:

    Where exactly did you eat, where you got this killer food poisoning migraine?
    = "At what place exactly did you eat, where you got this killer food poisoning migraine?"
    = "At what place exactly did you eat, that you got this killer food poisoning migraine from?"
    = "What place exactly did you eat at, that you got this killer food poisoning migraine from?"

    But even though the second relative clause modifies "place", moving it ahead of "did you eat" does not work.

    "What place exactly that you got this killer food poisoning migraine from did you eat at?" really does seem to define one or more "killer" sources and then ask at what such place the person ate. Even if we add a comma.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I think the "that" in question, if not a "such that", makes more sense as a "whence"/"wherefrom" than as a "whereat".

    An alternative reading of the original sentence:

    Where exactly did you eat, where you got this killer food poisoning migraine?
    = "At what place exactly did you eat, where you got this killer food poisoning migraine?"
    = "At what place exactly did you eat, that you got this killer food poisoning migraine from?"
    = "What place exactly did you eat at, that you got this killer food poisoning migraine from?"
    Before I posted the question, I did wonder if it'd be better to add "from" in the that-clause when analyzing it as a relative clause. :)

    But even though the second relative clause modifies "place", moving it ahead of "did you eat" does not work.

    "What place exactly that you got this killer food poisoning migraine from did you eat at?" really does seem to define one or more "killer" sources and then ask at what such place the person ate. Even if we add a comma.
    Thanks. In fact, moving the that-clause ahead of "did you eat" is not necessary to prove that it's a relative clause. When an interrogative word such as where or when or what is an antecedent of a relative clause, the relative clause normally comes after the main interrogative clause.

    That said, even if we place the that-clause ahead of "did you eat", I don't understand how it defines the "killer food poisoning migraine" place and then ask where the person ate. I mean, the context dictates that the person first ate at a place and then got the "killer food poisoning migraine" from eating at the place, doesn't it?
     
    Last edited:

    Forero

    Senior Member
    It really matters whether you got food poisoning where you ate or whether you ate where you got food poisoning.

    If "where you got food poisoning" defines the place, then when you eat there you are asking for trouble.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    It really matters whether you got food poisoning where you ate or whether you ate where you got food poisoning.

    If "where you got food poisoning" defines the place, then when you eat there you are asking for trouble.
    If you're to convey that you went back and ate again where you had previously gotten food poisoning from, shouldn't got be had gotten?

    What place exactly that you had gotten this killer food poisoning migraine from did you eat at?

    Actually, in this order where getting the disease is mentioned before eating, we may not need the past perfect form had gotten, because the act of getting the disease can be understood to have happened before the act of eating, even without the help of the past perfect form.

    In the original order, however, I think we do need the past perfect form had gotten in order to interpret the act of getting the disease to have happened before the act of eating.

    Where exactly did you eat that you had gotten this killer food poisoning migraine? (had got in BE)

    But the original text has the past form got, which I think means that even if we're to interpret the that-clause as a relative clause, we can't interpret the act of getting the disease to have happened before the act of eating. Then, Myridon and Loob's reasoning behind rejecting the relative reading doesn't hold water, does it?
     
    Last edited:

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    No, sorry. I'm clear that "that" is a conjunction in your sentence, not a relative pronoun. Myridon's/my explanation may not be convincing, but I'm afraid I haven't got the energy to turn any more somersaults:(.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    The point is that a defining relative clause defines.

    The place could not be defined by something that had not happened yet.

    And why would you eat at a place defined by such an event?
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    JungKim, you're free to analyze the that-clause as a relative clause! Just because the "such that" theory with that as a conjunction is sensible and probably right doesn't mean that the relative clause theory is automatically wrong.
    There are many grammatical structures that can be analyzed in different ways and several of those ways are correct - one may be more plausible than the other but they are both correct nevertheless.

    You can look at the OP as a clefted wh-question and that should automatically make the that-clause a relative clause, e.g.
    Where was it that you got your food poisoning?

    I'd say in this case that really refers to where, which can be seen when you turn the question into an answer:
    It was there that I got food poisoning.
    Here it's clear that the antecedent of that is there, which means that the antecedent in the clefted question must be where.

    Now if you look at the semantics of the OP "Where did you eat that ..." you see that the core message is identical with "where was it that ..."

    It's still a bit different from the CGEL example "where can we go for lunch that is not too expensive" but well, you can't have it all...

    [edit: correcting typos]
     
    Last edited:

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    American TV Show Gossip Girl has this conversation (transcript):

    In the last sentence, what's the nature of the underlined that-clause?
    To me, the underlined element is a complement clause, and not a "relative clause." More precisely, that "that" is a complementizer (introducing the complement clause), and not a "relativizer" (which normally introduces a relative clause).

    I call it a complement clause mainly on two grounds: (1) the complement clause that you got this killer food poisoning migraine is an argument ("completes the meaning") of the main clause where exactly did you eat?; (2), crucially, the complement clause represents a proposition. By contrast, a (restrictive) relative clause identifies its referent, as in This is the place where you got this killer food poisoning migraine. As relative pronoun (or relative adverb, if you wish), "where" takes a place/location as referent.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    The point is that a defining relative clause defines.

    The place could not be defined by something that had not happened yet.

    And why would you eat at a place defined by such an event?
    Why? Because, without the defining relative clause, the question might not be defined enough to get the answer you desire.
    The question Where exactly did you eat? alone may be enough, or it may not. The thing is, the speaker gets to decide if it's enough or not, and even if it's enough, the speaker is free to add whatever the heck he sees fit.

    It would have been more clearly a relative clause if from was added.
    Where exactly did you eat that you got this killer food poisoning migraine from?

    Here, the presence of from makes it abundantly clear that the that-clause has to be a relative clause. Please let me know if you disagree about this.

    And I don't think there's such a rule or a reasoning that prevents you from adding a defining relative clause that describes an event that happens after the event described in the main clause. Not that I know of.

    In fact, I think this does work:
    I ate at this place [where I got this killer food poisoning migraine].
    I ate at this place
    [(that) I got this killer food poisoning migraine from].
    Here, I think the bracketed clause is clearly a relative clause defining the noun place.

    Now, does removing from from the second example suddenly make the bracketed clause a resultative clause? [Not a rhetorical question]
    I ate at this place [(that) I got this killer food poisoning migraine].
     
    Last edited:

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    I call it a complement clause mainly on two grounds: (1) the complement clause that you got this killer food poisoning migraine is an argument ("completes the meaning") of the main clause where exactly did you eat?; (2), crucially, the complement clause represents a proposition. By contrast, a (restrictive) relative clause identifies its referent, as in This is the place where you got this killer food poisoning migraine. As relative pronoun (or relative adverb, if you wish), "where" takes a place/location as referent.
    That seems sensible. But does the concept "complement clause" fit into traditional grammar? It sounds more like one of the more modern views on grammar.

    [edit: typo]
     
    Last edited:
    Top