Re: CHAT: which's
|From:||And Rosta <a.rosta@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 0:41|
> Andreas Johansson scripsit:
> > >To say that 'which's' seems odd in that context would be an
> > >understatement. I'm not sure what the rules are about contractions, but
> > >that seems totally against them
> > It does? What, specifically, makes it odd in the above context? In what
> > contexts would you expect it?
> "Which's" is never acceptable in standard English. Poking around on Google,
> I find it in one of three contexts:
> 1) There's a poem out there entitled "The Which's Ballad" by William
> Bell Scott, where it is clearly an eccentric spelling of "Witch's"
> 2) Non-native users (as indicated by the nature of the other errors
> they make) sometimes use it for "which is"
> 3) Occasionally native speakers use it as a replacement for the standard
> possessive relative pronoun "whose" (which is just an eccentric-but-
> standardized spelling of "who" + "'s") when the antecedent is
> inanimate. "Who" is never applied to inanimates, and there is a
> Sprachgefuehl against applying "whose" to inanimates either,
> notwithstanding it is standard
> Here's an example of this usage: "Those commas in between signify
> each field you don't need to export but which's column you need
> to preserve."
> But the right thing for non-native speakers is simply never to use it
There is nothing specifically wrong with _which's_ as a morphological
string: "the book the cover of which's bottom corner is dogeared".
Rather, there is a rule of phonological expression that changes
_which_ to _who_ when it is argument of the determiner _'s_, which
is something that affects most other personal pronouns (me, us, you,
him, them, but not it, her or one).