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Re: THEORY: Re : THEORY: Natural language change (was Re: Charlie and I)

From:Charles <catty@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 22, 1999, 0:14
Nik Taylor wrote:

> > "the guy who i usedta date his sister comma is angry now" > > Why do you have that "comma" there?
To indicate a change in tone ... how else can I mark that in text? From "i" through "sister" is lower in pitch than the rest. Anyway, one needs to mark the end of the clause somehow.
> > This is illegal in American, we use something more complicated. > > We do? Do you mean "the guy whose sister I used to date"? I wouldn't > say that above form is completely illegal, I hear similar forms from > time to time, but it does sound rather clumsy.
I think the higher-prestige form uses "whose"; the lowest-prestige form uses some *horrible* genitive as described elsewhere (I shudder). I could write it more simply with parens or just commas as "The guy (I used to date his sister) is angry now." In fact, I do exactly this in speech, using a lowered tone. No "who/that" relative pronoun at all.