I am not clear about the syntactic analysis of the what-clauses in bold in the following b-sentences:
(1a) These words are weak determiners.
(1b) These words are what can be called weak determiners.
(2a) He is a true patriot.
(2b) He is what some consider a true patriot.
(3a) They are nothing more than a nuisance.
(3b) They are what she views as nothing more than a nuisance.
Given the a-sentences here, the what-clauses in bold in the b-sentences seem like they are modifying the following phrase. But that state of affairs is odd, because it suggests that these what-clauses, which look like free relative clauses, actually precede the expression they modify. Standard relative clauses in English always follow the expressions they modify, of course. So what's going on? Should the what-clauses in bold be viewed as preceding what they modify? If so, what might the tree analysis look like? Is the phenomenon addressed in the syntax literature? If yes, then where?