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Similarly, vocal learners may have developed the ability independently of one another. (From the ACT)

What does the prepositional phrase "of one another" function as here? Modifying "independently"? Or something else?

I think it is better to use the noun form of "independently" such as "in a state of independence" or "in independence", thus "of one anther" serving as a complement for "independence."

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    Apart from identifying a brilliant Donna Summers song, the words State of Independence aren't really used much in English. What you want in your context is definitely independently. – FumbleFingers Nov 3 '20 at 12:45
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  • "Independently of one another" sounds correct.

  • "In a state of independence of one another" doesn't sound right - I believe it should be "in a state of independence from one another".

As a general rule we would say "independent of" something and "independence from" something. However, in your second example it uses "a state of independence" where it could just say "independent".

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  • Thanks, so could I say sth like" XXX became independent of XXX" to mean that XXX gained independence from XXX? – HypnoticBuggyWraithVirileBevy Nov 3 '20 at 14:23
  • @Charlie exactly. – Astralbee Nov 3 '20 at 15:18

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