Me and John Can Do It
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I inquired about ''objective'' pronoun case in English conjoined subjects
(''Me and John can do it''), trying to locate a specific article on this topic.
I thank Suzanne Aalberse, John Atkinson, Eric Bakovic, Michael Covington,
David Denison, Stefan Dyla, Hans Enger, Susan Fischer, Joe Foster, Scott
Jackson, James Lavine, Guy Modica, Paula Newman, Frederick Newmeyer, Carson
Schütze, Graham Shorrocks, Bruce Spencer, John te Velde, and Joshua Viau
for their informative replies to my query. David Denison sent the most
extensive list of sources.
Two of the respondents offered their services as native-speaking informants
of the dialect in question. I am grateful for the offers, but I estimate
that ''me-and-John'' speakers are abundant, if not a majority of the
population, in the region where I live (Southern Illinois), as well as in
most other parts of the U.S.A.
I will list the bibliographic references that they sent me. I think only
one item -- Emonds 1986 -- was cited by more than one respondent, and that
was cited by five of them. I have yet to determine which item is the one I
Thanks to all. I hereby relinquish any further ''claim'' on this topic, in
favor of anyone who has more time and expertise than I do to research it.
Him or her can do it.
Angermeyer, Philipp S., & John Victor Singler. 2003. ''The case for
politeness: Pronoun variation in co-ordinate NPs in object position in
English''. _Language Variation and Change_ 15, 171-209.
Boyland, Joyce Tang. 2001. ''Hypercorrect pronoun case in English?
Cognitive processes that account for pronoun usage.'' In Joan Bybee & Paul
Hopper (eds.), _Frequency and the emergence of linguistic structure_
(Typological Studies in
Language 45), 383-404. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Denison, David. 1996. The case of the unmarked pronoun. In Derek Britton
(ed.), _English historical linguistics 1994: Papers from the 8th
International Conference on English Historical Linguistics (8.ICEHL,
Edinburgh, 19-23 September 1994)_ (Current Issues in Linguistic Theory
135), 287-99. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Denison, David. ''Syntax.'' 1998. _The Cambridge History of the English
Language_. General Editor Richard M. Hogg. 6 vols. Volume IV: 1776-1997.
Ed. Suzanne Romaine. Cambridge, New York & Melbourne: Cambridge University
Emonds, Joseph. 1986. ''Grammatically deviant prestige constructions''. In
Michael Brame, Heles Contreras & Frederick Newmeyer (eds.), _A Festschrift
for Sol Saporta_, 93-129. Seattle: Noit Amrofer.
Hudson, Richard. 1999. Subject-verb agreement in English. _English Language
and Linguistics_ 3, 173-207.
''It is I'' (heading of discussion on the usenet newsgroup sci.lang), first
posting 22 May 2007.
Johannessen, Janne Bondi. 1998. _Coordination_. New York : Oxford
Klima, Edward S. 1964. ''Relatedness between grammatical systems.''
Parker, Frank, Kathryn Riley & Charles Meyer. 1988. Case assignment and the
ordering of constituents in coordinate constructions. _American Speech_ 63,
Perlmutter, David M., and Scott Soames (1979). _Syntactic argumentation
and the structure of English_. Berkeley, U. of Cal. Press.
Quinn, Heidi. 2005. _The distribution of pronoun case forms in English_
(Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 82). Amsterdam and Philadelphia PA:
Schütze, Carson (2001). ''On the nature of default case''. _Syntax_,
Shorrocks, Graham. 1992. Case assignment in simple and coordinate
constructions in Present-day English. _American Speech_ 67, 432-44.
Shorrocks, Graham. 1999. _A Grammar of the Dialect of the Bolton Area. Part
II. Morphology and Syntax_. Bamberger Beiträge zur Englischen
Sprachwissenschaft (University of Bamberg Studies in English Linguistics)
42. Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, New York, Paris, Vienna: Peter Lang,
Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften.
Sobin, Nick (1997). ''Agreement, default rules, and grammatical viruses''.
_Linguistic Inquiry_, 28:318-343.
te Velde, John. 2005. _Deriving coordinate symmetries: A phase-based
approach integrating Select, Merge, Copy and Match_. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Weerman, F., and J. Evers Vermeul. 2002. ''Pronouns and case''. _Lingua_
Stefan Dyla adds 'A place to look for such examples are early Linguistic
Inquiry and articles and squibs by John Robert Ross,
George Lakoff, Jim MCCawley and Paul Postal. Ross's famous Ph.D.
dissertation ''Constraints on Variables in Syntax'' almost certainly has
such examples. Anything on coordination that comes [from] the Generative
Semantics period is a possible source.'
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