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On Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 11:56 AM, And Rosta <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On 6 September 2017 at 12:15, Raymond Brown <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > In the various colloquial registers of English I argue that _I_ and _me_
> > are positional variants.  To describe this as 'case' IMO is confusing;
> > thus I agree wholeheartedly with And: "You make it seem weirder by
> > trying to characterize this as case ..."
> >
> > What term better describes this allomorphy and, indeed, that of modern
> > English personal pronouns, I don't know.   Does one exist?
> >
>
> I don't know either. The term, if it exists, should also cover categories
> like 'infinitive' and 'participle', i.e. inflectional categories (where
> variation in phonological shape is conditioned by syntactic environment)
> that apply to a class of words and don't have just a single syntactic
> trigger. (This would be in contrast to, say, Plural, which is an
> inflectional category with a single (semantico)syntactic trigger.)
>
> --And.
>
>
Even if we were to pinpoint more precisely the present theoretical
objection to the term "case" being applied to English, we'd still be left
with the fact that English pronouns have traditionally been described in
terms of case, the term is universally understood, and there is no obvious
substitute term for it.

IMHO the fact that the "nominative" and "accusative" (a.k.a. "objective")
cases of English pronouns don't work the same way as in Latin or German
doesn't mean they're not cases.  It just means that English 'lects have
their own rules governing their use.  As Raymond Brown's examples using
nonstandard English illustrate, the effect of pronoun case doesn't
naturally trump the effect of position in the assignment of semantic roles
in an English clause, and that's a very different situation from languages
with fuller case systems, by that I mean systems that generally mark noun
phrases for case, not just certain pornouns.  Nevertheless I would maintain
English cases are still cases.  It's just vestigial and feeble and limited
to a handful of pronouns.

co ma'a mke

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