Relative Clause Analysis


Try analyzing these: what's the core sentence?  What sentence was changed to make the relative clause?  What's the grammatical function of the relative pronoun in its clause?  Where in the sentence does the relative clause come?  


 
 
 
#1 The family fulfills functions that are divided among many specialized institutions in modern societies.
Core sentence The family fulfills functions.
Sentence that became the relative clause The functions are divided among many specialized institutions in modern societies
Relative Pronoun Function subject of the relative clause
Location of the relative clause it's at the end of the sentence--attached to the noun that's the direct object--part of the large noun phrase that is the direct object of the sentence
   

 
 
#2a. The largest and most complex group that sociologists study is society, which consists of people who share a culture and a territory.
Core sentence The largest and most complex group is society.
Sentence that became the relative clause (first relative clause) Sociologists study this group.
Relative Pronoun Function direct object of the relative clause
Location of the relative clause it's at the beginning of the sentence--attached to the noun that's the subject--part of the large noun phrase that is the subject of the sentence
   

 
 
 
#2b. The largest and most complex group that sociologists study is society, which consists of people who share a culture and a territory.
Core sentence The largest and most complex group is society.
Sentence that became the relative clause (the 2nd one in this sentence) Society consists of people.
Relative Pronoun Function object of the prepositional phrase in the relative clause
Location of the relative clause it's at toward the end--in a non-restrictive clause that's giving a definition of "society"
   

 
 
 
#2c. The largest and most complex group that sociologists study is society, which consists of people who share a culture and a territory.
Core sentence The largest and most complex group is society, which consists of people.
Sentence that became the relative clause The people share a culture and a territory.
Relative Pronoun Function subject of the relative clause
Location of the relative clause it's at the end of the sentence--attached to the noun that's the object of another relative clause
   

 
 
 
#3 The demise of hunter-gatherer groups came because modern societies took over the areas on which these groups depended for their food.
Core sentence The book comes highly recommended.
Sentence that became the relative clause The book is required for this workshop.
Relative Pronoun Function subject of the relative clause
Location of the relative clause it's at the beginning of the sentence--attached to the noun that's the subject--part of the large noun phrase that is the subject of the sentence
   

 
 
 
#4. Groups that built their lives around the pasturing of animals remained nomadic.
Core sentence Groups remained nomadic.
Sentence that became the relative clause The groups built their lives around the pasturing of animals.
Relative Pronoun Function subject of the relative clause
Location of the relative clause it's at the beginning of the sentence--attached to the noun that's the subject--part of the large noun phrase that is the subject of the sentence
   

 
 
 
#5. The individuals who first used the new technology accumulated great wealth.
Core sentence The individuals accumulated great wealth.
Sentence that became the relative clause The individuals first used the new technology.
Relative Pronoun Function subject of the relative clause
Location of the relative clause it's at the beginning of the sentence--attached to the noun that's the subject--part of the large noun phrase that is the subject of the sentence
   

 
 
 
#6. The term networking, which has appeared in popular speech, refers to using or even developing social networks.
Core sentence The term networking refers to using or even developing social networks.
Sentence that became the relative clause The term networking has appeared in popular speech.
Relative Pronoun Function subject of the relative clause
Location of the relative clause it's at the beginning of the sentence--attached to the noun that's the subject--part of the large noun phrase that is the subject of the sentence

Notice that it's a non-restrictive relative clause.  That's because there's only 1 term networking.  The relative clause is giving additional information rather than identifying the noun.