What does the pronoun "it" refer to?

Hello to anyone who bumps into this topic.

I have been reading Cognitive Grammar by Langacker for a long time. Although I find it not so difficult to read as when I start to do it, I have a lot of questions through this reading process. For example, "The subject of a clause is a nominal that elaborates the trajector of the process it designates." I have look up the word "designate" in the dictionary, but I cannot figure out the content of the pronoun "it". If "it" refers to the "nominal", what is the object of the verb "designate"? "the process" or "the trajector of the process"?

Really thankful if anyone can help me with that.

Apr 10, 2017 1:18 PM
Comments · 3

I do not know how you can stand reading a book written in that style!  I am a native speaker and to me, it seems the author is using unnecessarily uncommon technical words that make it harder to understand instead of making it clearer.  

For learning Spanish, I like to use books from the ¨Practice Makes Perfect¨ series.  I was curious if the English sentences in that series are that hard to read, so I downloaded a free sample of this book

Practice Makes Perfect Advanced English Grammar for ESL Learners (Practice Makes Perfect Series) 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

  https://www.amazon.com/Practice-Perfect-Advanced-English-Learners-ebook/dp/B004ISL4JQ/ref=mt_kindle?_encoding=UTF8&me= from Amazon.  

If you have an Amazon account, you can download a free sample of any of their English grammar books.  I think it would be worth your time to find something more user-friendly.  I actually enjoy the Practice Makes Perfect workbooks.  They are clear and they include answers for the exercises.  

April 11, 2017

K P thank you! Your comment is really helpful for me to understand the word "designate"!!

Maybe my problems are not only about the language itself. Maybe it' s just because his theories are so abstract...

April 10, 2017
"It" refers to the clause here. The clause designates some process.

As about 'designate' - compare it to 'sign' (both were Latin words originally).
April 10, 2017