english pronoun case (was Re: everybody...their)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Apr 20 06:22:52 UTC 2001

At 1:15 PM -0500 4/20/01, Herb Stahlke wrote:
>I still lean away.  I may be missing something, but in the conjoined
>structure the pronouns cannot be unstressed, which means they are in
>focus in this construction.  I don't disagree with his statement,
>that you quote; I just don't see it as supporting his claim that
>it's still case-governed behavior.  It looks a lot more like
>discourse function than like case.
But no matter how strongly the pronoun is focused or stressed or
contrastively contextualized when it IS the (sole) subject, it can't
be ME (or HIM, or HER):

*No, you can't have it, ME gets it!
*No, you're wrong--HIM didn't win, HER won!

It's only when it's NOT the subject that it can show up in the
so-called accusative.  If this were really a matter of discourse
function, these would all be good (since stress IS a matter of
discourse function, these are all in fact stressed, but still

*No, you can't have it, *I* get it!
*No, you're wrong--*HE* didn't win, *SHE* won!


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