my your recommendation

Thom Harrison tharriso at MAIL.MACONSTATE.EDU
Thu Sep 27 18:01:02 UTC 2001

At least the way I speak, "Sue's Tom's recommendation" might come up in a
conversation like this:

"Did you get Tom's recommendation?"
"Tom who?"
"Ohh, I can't remember his last name.  You remember Sue, used to be
Wilkinson?  She married him.  Sue's Tom's recommendation."

But that would have yet another, and more normal, structure.


>X-Mailer: AOL 5.0 for Mac sub 28
>Date:         Thu, 27 Sep 2001 13:23:56 EDT
>Reply-To:     American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>From:         RonButters at AOL.COM
>Subject:      Re: my your recommendation
>Comments: To: lynnem at
>To:           ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>In a message dated 9/27/01 1:14:21 PM, lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK writes:
><< > 1. Can one convey the notion 'the recommendation that I wrote on your
>> behalf' by saying "my your recommendation'?
>> 2. If not, why not?
>Because 'my' and 'your' are determiners, and there's only one determiner
>slot in at the front of a noun phrase.  Same reason you can't say 'the your
>recommendation' or 'your that recommendation'. >>
>So all possessives are determiners? I find "My Alex's recommendation" worse
>than "My your recommendation," and "Sue's Tom's recommendation" even worse.
Thom Harrison
Macon State College

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