"has nothing for which to vote" grammatically correct? ?

I wonder if the structure "nothing for which to vote" in the sentence, as shown below, from Martin Luther King's speech is grammatically correct. 

"We cannot be satisfied as long as a ***** in Mississippi cannot vote and a ***** in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. "

As far as I understand, "which" takes a clause, but here, it is an infinitive phrase "to vote". Is that grammatical? If yes, how to explain its grammaticality? 


To clarify the question: 

He has...

a. nothing [Op_i [he can vote for t_i ]]

b. nothing [Op_i [PRO to vote for t_i ]]

c. nothing [which [he can vote for t_i ]]

d. *nothing [which [PRO to vote for t_i ]]

e. nothing for [which [he can vote t_i ]]

f. ?nothing for [which [PRO to vote t_i ]]

The preposition can be lifted before a relative pronoun, but the issue is whether a relative pronoun takes [PRO to vote t_i ], instead of a finite clause, as its complement. 

4 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    How dare you question the great MLK ?!?! He is what he is.

  • 2 months ago

    Yes, it's correct, and very formal. Most people don't use a preposition before the relative adjective in speaking. We would probably say "He has nothing to vote for." But in formal English, it's perfectly correct to use the preposition at the beginning of the phrase.

    With whom were you speaking? Formal

    Who were you speaking to? Informal

    i have a friend to whom I often send encouraging messages. Formal

    I have a friend that I often send encouraging messages to. Informal

  • 2 months ago

    It's OK apart from benefitting from a comma after New York. In any case, it is an historical quote and should not be changed from the original.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    That's correct.  Martin Luther King was an educated man.

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