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Is the following sentence in bold grammatically correct?

Copp also found himself a center of controversy especially after a series of articles in 2004 by the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico. Copp has claimed to have played a key role in rescue activities at Ground Zero in New York after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He was granted more than $600,000 in compensation for what he said are injuries from the event, mostly toxicity. The articles in the Albuquerque journal questioned both whether he played any important role at Ground Zero and whether he was eligible for any compensation for injury. In a four-part series about Copp, the Journal quoted several people who saw Copp at Ground Zero as saying that he showed up with a video camera and did no serious rescue work. The U.S. Justice Department fraud unit was investigating.

I can understand "He was granted more than $600,000 in compensation for what he said"

and apparently he was granted because he said "injuries from the event are mostly toxicity"..

But can we merge these two sentences into one sentence?

I cannot understand the structure.Where are relative clauses?

Could you please explain to me this structure if it is correct?

I would say :

He was granted more than $600,000 in compensation for what he said which/that injuries from the event are mostly toxicity.

  • I think the cited passage is poorly written, so don't treat it as a model. For example, mostly toxicity is an extremely clumsy shortening of something like mostly caused by toxicity. But you've misunderstood what he said are - that's a "parenthetical" element implying that the injuries might not in fact have been caused by the event (it's just that he claimed they were). – FumbleFingers Apr 6 '16 at 15:17
  • @FumbleFingers Why isn't past simple tense used there (“for what he said were injuries”)? How would the meaning change if it was? – userr2684291 Apr 6 '16 at 15:30
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    Part of the answer is that the writer isn't actually very good, as I pointed out. But since he (the subject) still has the injuries, it's not "incorrect" to refer to what they are, rather than what they were. Using present tense lends a slightly greater sense of immediacy / relevance to the current situation (which might further lead to the implication that the injuries are more serious than you might otherwise have supposed, since they're bad enough to still be called "injuries", rather than, for example, "scars"). – FumbleFingers Apr 6 '16 at 15:37
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    I might write it He was granted compensation for injuries he claimed were caused by the event, mostly due to toxic exposure. I have to agree with @FumbleFingers that the writing here is very poor. The problem with claimed though is that it implies you don't necessarily believe what he said, although "for what he said" has a similar if less strong connotation. – ColleenV Apr 6 '16 at 23:05
  • @ColleenV: That's a very good point about what he said are vs what he claimed are. The fact that it less strongly implies the writer doesn't believe the assertion might even shift the implication to being that the writer does believe (but is unable or unwilling to actually say that, or to endorse the testimony less ambiguously). – FumbleFingers Apr 6 '16 at 23:15
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This is a grammatically correct sentence, but your understanding of the sentence is not correct. (It is a confusing sentence, though.)

Here's the sentence again:

He was granted more than $600,000 in compensation for what he said are injuries from the event, mostly toxicity.

Here's a shorter sentence with a similar meaning:

He was granted more than $600,000 in compensation for injuries.

The original sentence is the same, except that the noun "injuries" is replaced with the noun phrase "what he said are injuries from the event, mostly toxicity."

Here's a way of rephrasing the original sentence which should make the meaning more clear:

He was granted more than $600,000 in compensation for injuries which he said are injuries from the event, mostly toxicity.

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