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Re: OT: Latin subject-verb agreement

From:T. A. McLeay <conlang@...>
Date:Thursday, December 13, 2007, 1:55
David J. Peterson wrote:
> Mark: > << > Given the gloss in TKD for third-person nominal subjects ("As for the > captain, he is on the bridge"), I see no reason why nouns should be > disallowed for other persons. > >> > > You know, there's kind of a similar phenomenon in English > regarding relative clauses. Consider: > > I, who am a captain, prefer to wear briefs. > ?*I, who is a captain, prefer to wear briefs. > > I'd say that's pretty straightforward, but then... > > ?!?*You can give the book to me, who am a captain. > ?You can give the book to me, who is a captain. > > I have no explanation for any of this other than that English is > broken.
Apparently my English has fixed this because "I, who am a captain, ..." is weird and at least questionable, if not outright wrong. Both "I, who is a captain, ..." and "I, who are a captain, ..." are better, but neither are good. In any case, I can't imagine ever feeling the need to utter any of them; I'd go for something more like "I'm a captain and I prefer to wear briefs" and "You can give the book to me, (because) I'm a captain". My explanation for this is that "am" is a particularly restricted form of the verb; it pretty much can only be used with "I" before or after it and with no other modifications (consider "I am coming, aren't I?"). Just like "I" isn't exactly the nominative first person singular pronoun, "am" isn't exactly the first person singular form of "to be". But oh! I think I probably ran with a tangent to the original point. -- Tristan.


Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...>