The Benefits & Drawbacks of Pali

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The Benefits & Drawbacks of Pali

Postby daverupa » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:33 am

chownah wrote:I just want to know if there is some practical difference in the three ways to refer to the ball.....to most people there is not.
chownah


If a relative clause adds parenthetical, nondefining information, it is nonrestrictive. A nonrestrictive (parenthetical) element is set off by commas.

'the ball, which is red'

When the relative clause limits or restricts the noun or noun substitute (substantive) it modifies, it is restrictive, and it is not set off by commas.

'the ball that is red' / 'the red ball'

---

this website, source of the above definitions, also wrote: When the relative clause limits or restricts the noun or noun substitute (substantive) it modifies, it is restrictive, and it is not set off by commas.

~My brother that lives in Arizona is named Pat.

In this sentence the clause "that lives in Arizona" is needed to specify which brother, since the reader has no other way of knowing how many brothers the writer has or which brother is being referred to. (One way to think of the issue of restrictive and non-restrictive elements is that a restrictive element provides information that is necessary to narrow the field of candidates down to one.)

But check out this example:

~My other brother, who lives in Texas, is named Sam.

In this sentence the first substantive, the noun phrase "My other brother," conveys the information that the writer has only two brothers, and it also specifies which of those two brothers is being referred to, so the fact that he lives in Texas is extra information--not necessary for specifying which of two brothers is being referred to. In fact, although the brother's name is given in this sentence, the name itself isn't actually needed to narrow the field of candidates to one: the phrase "my other brother" indicates that the writer has only two brothers, and it also specifies which of thoise two brothers he is referring to. (Obviously, the would not say "my other brother" except in a context where he has just referred to the first brother.)

If the relative clause "who lives in Texas" were treated as restrictive, then the sentence would convey the information that the writer has two brothers who live in Texas, and that would only make sense if another brother living in Texas had already been mentioned:

~I have two brothers that live in Texas. One is named Eric. My other brother who lives in Texas is named Sam.


Does this help?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: The Benefits & Drawbacks of Pali

Postby chownah » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:05 pm

daverupa,
Yes! Thank you very much. I'll be more careful with my commas in the future!

For anyone else wondering about this if you write "the red ball" it usually means that the information "red" is needed to identify the correct ball and likewise if you write "the ball that is red" it usually means that the information"red" is needed to identify the ball..........but........if you write "the ball, which is red" (notice the comma here) it usually means that something else previously written has already made it clear which ball is being referred to so that the information "red" is not needed to identify the ball and is just some other information added for some reason.

If this is wrong I hope someone will tell me.

Seems like this was an issue in another thread concerning consciousness....whether (for example) in Pali was eye consciousness expressed in a way to indicate that "eye" was being used to define a particular kind of consciousness or whether eye consciousness was expressed in a way to indicate a general kind of consciousness which can sometimes be found at the eye but not being defined as a special type of conscious peculiar to the eye.

Thanks again for your help with this.
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