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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > What are "that" and "what" called in a noun clause?    

What are "that" and "what" called in a noun clause?


What are "that" and "what" called in a noun clause?
I hope people interested in linguistics can help me with this.
You know in a relative clause, the words "who, which, that" and so on are called "relative pronouns"
What about a noun clause? What do we call the words "what, that, whether" and so on?
I looked at grammar reference books, Thornbury, Google but maybe I īm not looking at the correct place, can you help me? 

13 May 2015      


I would call the words "relative pronouns" just as they are called in adjective clauses (relative clauses).
Here īs a source that claims the same 

Sometimes they are referred to as "adverb pronouns", as well

I  would also like to hear what other members suggest

13 May 2015     

United States

They are also called noun clause markers, Georgi. http://faculty.deanza.edu/flemingjohn/stories/storyReader$23

13 May 2015     


Thank you, Giorgi and Mary. 
Teaching English for all these years and I īve never thought what these are called before.

13 May 2015     

nasreddine Sarsar

I don īt agree with you guys, and sorry for that.
Noun clause markers is not a technical name for the words used to introduce a noun clause. Also relative pronouns and adverb pronouns are not the only words that introduce a noun clause.
Noun clauses are introduced by:
1. relative pronouns: Who stole the money is not known by the police.
2. relative adverbs: where he hid the money is a mystery.
3. Subordinating Conjunctions: I don īt know if he is coming.  
Who, where, and if mentioned in the examples above are referred to as noun clause markers, but technically speaking, that īs not the technical term used in grammar.

13 May 2015     

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I would have liked to know the sources you checked and what the technical term is though, nasreddine Sarsar
so I could feel a little more confident in making a decision or being nearer to doing so.
I am going to read up on this now, as I feel it īs rather poor that I cannot answer the question myself.

13 May 2015     

nasreddine Sarsar

The source is the TOEFL books I am implementing in my courses and the linguistics courses I took when I was a university student. You can conduct a search about what I typed in my answer. There is no technical term that brings all the words that introduce a noun clause together. Some of them are called relative pronouns. Others are called relative adverbs, and still others are called subordinating conjunctions.

13 May 2015