query: extra IS

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Tue May 8 03:07:10 UTC 2001

Arnold Zwicky said:
>one of my grad students has been looking into "extra IS" sentences,
>  The problem is is that we have to leave at 10.
>bolinger 1986 is the only source we have on the phenomenon; does
>anyone know anything else?
>bolinger's citations have only one from a written source - a letter
>by charles darwin! - and my student hasn't found any further written
>examples of IS/WAS plus IS (except where ordinary syntax calls for
>it, as in
>   What the problem is is that we have to leave at 10.)
>has anyone come across other written examples?

I'm pretty sure I've seen it in dialog in "escape fiction"...but, alas, I
can't come up with examples. With a little more reliability, I can say that
a housemate of mine in college was *notorious* (at least in the house) for
saying "the thing is is that...". Other housemates would comment on it in
the middle of serious philosophical (or at least, sophomoric, in the
original sense of the word) discussions.
Alice Faber                                       tel. (203) 865-6163
Haskins Laboratories                              fax  (203) 865-8963
270 Crown St                                   faber at haskins.yale.edu
New Haven, CT 06511                               afaber at wesleyan.edu

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