Quoting Philip Newton <[log in to unmask]>:

> On 29 Dec 01, at 21:38, Thomas R. Wier wrote:
> > Well, it's not quite that simple. English, under most analyses, does
> > have a notion of case:  certain forms of pronouns, for example,
> > are simply ungrammatical in certain circumstances:
> >
> >   *I saw he.
> >   *him saw him.
> But it's not firmly engrained in all native speakers, as witnessed by
> such sentences as
>     Give it to Jim and I.
>     Him and me went to the seashore.
>     "Who wants one?"   "Me!"
> which would be ungrammatical in languages with a stronger sense of
> case (for example, German).

Yeah, those kinds of sentences are possible evidence that English
is on the verge of losing case as a grammatical feature entirely.
On the other hand, it seems to me on nonscientific personal experience
that there will still be a distinction between "I" and "me", but will
be one of [+formal] v. [-formal].  It'll be interesting to see how
mass-education and near universal literacy affect language change.
Whereas earlier ages might have settled on one or the other form,
education might maintain some form of distinction like the one above.

Thomas Wier <[log in to unmask]> <>

             "...koruphàs hetéras hetére:isi prosápto:n /
Dept. of Linguistics  mú:tho:n mè: teléein atrapòn mían..."
University of Chicago "To join together diverse peaks of thought /
1010 E. 59th Street   and not complete one road that has no turn"
Chicago, IL 60637     Empedocles, _On Nature_, on speculative thinkers