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

From:Thomas R. Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 21, 1999, 22:17
Charles wrote:

> "the guy who i usedta date his sister comma is angry now" > ^^^ ............. ^^^ ...... ^^^^^ > > This is illegal in American, we use something more complicated.
No, it's actually probably quite common in colloquial American English. But the more common way of fixing that problem is to use the "genitive" cliticized suffix attached to the end of the noun phrase: "The guy who(m) I used to date's sister is angry now". An aside: This use of the "genitive" as a noun phrase marker rather than a noun marker is actually the norm throughout the English speaking world. No English speaker would say: *"The Queen's of England hat" but would have to say "The Queen of England's hat" where the Queen is the possessor, not England :) The difference only comes in the extent to which people use the suffix that way. I think in some dialects, this may be limited to certain ossified phrases; in others, it's might be limited to only certain types of phrases (like prepositional phrases, or adjectival phrases: "court martial's", *"court's martial") when following the noun. In some, of course, it can be taken to bizarre degrees. ======================================================= Tom Wier <artabanos@...> ICQ#: 4315704 AIM: Deuterotom Website: <> "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero." Denn wo Begriffe fehlen, Da stellt ein Wort zur rechten Zeit sich ein. -- Mephistopheles, in Goethe's _Faust_ ========================================================