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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 > bad.
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. --And.


Marcus Smith <smithma@...>