THEORY: [CONLANG] Case mismatches (was: Re: Viko Notes)
|From:||And Rosta <a-rosta@...>|
|Date:||Friday, June 28, 2002, 20:23|
> My thesis is broadly concerned with instances of 'unbalanced
> coordination', 'partial agreement' in particular. By 'unbalanced
> coordination', I mean contexts where [X & Y] is grammatical, but [Y & X]
> is not.
Does your thesis consider English data? If so, can I get a copy?
> The case facts that started this thread are another type of unbalanced
> coordination, because the case of the conjuncts depends on the ordering of
> conjuncts (among other things). "him and I" is good, but "I and him" is
But "me and he" is also bad.
> There seem to be two broad patterns to the ordering you find across
> languages. In some languages, the "deviant" conjunct (the one that does
> not participate in triggering agreement or gets the incorrect case) is
> typically ordered with respect to the conjunction in the same way as the
> object to the verb. That is, in OV languages, the conjunct immediately
> before "and" is deviant, but in VO languages, it the conjunct immediately
> after "and" that is deviant. This pattern was first noticed (to my
> knowledge) in a 1993 dissertation from Oslo by Johannessen.
> Corbett, in his work on gender and number, notes that agreement with the
> closest conjunct is very common. So unlike the previous pattern, the
> "well-behaved" conjunct is the one that is closest to what it is
> interacting with. That is, if the verb (adjective, etc) agrees with just
> one conjunct, then it agrees with the closest; if only one conjunct has
> the proper case, it is the one closest to the case assigner.
> Some languages follow the Johannessen pattern (like Norwegian), but others
> follow the Corbett pattern (like English, probably).
For British English, neither pattern obtains: "Him and me are", "Me and
him are". However, "Her and he are" is worse than "She and him are",
so the Johannessen pattern is stronger than the Corbett.