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I wrote:

In the Prague treebank, a specific language called PML based on XML has been developed, which provides a scheme for annotation of various information.

Can I use based on XML in that position?

Or should I say:

In the Prague treebank, a specific language called PML has been developed based on XML, which provides a scheme for annotation of various information.

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  • Both are correct. But if I have to choose, I will go with the first: In the Prague treebank, a specific language called PML, based on XML, has been developed which provides a scheme for annotation of various information.
    – Usernew
    Oct 20, 2015 at 6:55
  • which provides a scheme for annotation of various information. is a relative clause, so you can not use a comma before "which"
    – Usernew
    Oct 20, 2015 at 7:02
  • @Usernew I thought if I use which clause as non-restrictive I can use comma
    – Ahmad
    Oct 20, 2015 at 7:33
  • Ahmad you are correct about the non-restrictive "which". But the sentence will then have a lot of commas (note that the two commas before and after based on XML are needed to set it off as a parenthetical phrase. Otherwise it would not be clear that the "which " refers to PML and not to XLML.) Oct 20, 2015 at 9:10
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    I think, like most of your questions, it would depend on your intended meaning. If I guess the intended meaning correctly, you may want to consider this as an alternative: In the Prague treebank, a specific XML-based language called PML has been developed to provide a scheme for annotation of various information. Oct 20, 2015 at 11:19

2 Answers 2

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Both are fine, but the position now affects which word the relative clause "which...informtion" modifies.

In the second example, clearly the relatve clause is modifying XML, while in the first it seems it is modifying PML.

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  • Thank you, then I should use first choice as which clause modifies PML.
    – Ahmad
    Oct 20, 2015 at 7:33
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Either of your suggested phrasings would be acceptable. But If you wish to convey unambiguously that the "annotation" is a feature of PML rather than of XML, I suggest:

  • In the Prague treebank a language called PML, which provides a scheme for annotation of various information, has been developed based on XML.
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    Paraphrasing like this alters the centre of the message. The focus point of the message is "something has been developed based on something". If the focus point is what PML can provide, i believe the relative clause should remain at its end position. Oct 20, 2015 at 9:20

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