A discussion under a recent question brought up a topic I've been wondering about for a while:
Only the word "place" is unusual and has the formula "the place where/that/∅", isn't (or should I say "doesn't"?) it? – Zhang Jian yesterday
@ZhangJian Yes, that's right :) – Araucaria yesterday
I've been wondering about this ever since I read the following quote from A Student's Introduction to English Grammar:
[v] a place [where you can relax]
The non-wh construction is not always available when the relativised element is adjunct (or complement) of place; the example in [v], with the head noun place, is perfectly acceptable, but in sentences with head nouns less likely to suggest location, a wh relative would normally be required. (p.185)
Likewise, from the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language:
Relatives introduced by where, by contrast, do not in general alternate with the non-wh type except where the antecedent is a very general noun such as place [...] (p.1053)
These quotes seems to suggest that place is one of a small class of words which strongly suggest location and have the same or similar grammar, but are there in fact any other words like place?
From these descriptions, I would think they would be very general nouns like location, but location at least doesn't seem to work the same way:
1a. Dublin is the place where I want to live.
1b. Dublin is the place that I want to live.
1c. Dublin is the place I want to live.
2a. Dublin is the location where I want to live.
2b. *Dublin is the location that I want to live. (ungrammatical)
2c. *Dublin is the location I want to live. (ungrammatical)
To make 2b and 2c grammatical, I need to add a preposition like in, so it seems like location doesn't work the same way as place.
Are there any other words like this, or is place unique?