Odd dummy subject markers

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Wed Apr 5 13:00:14 UTC 2006

I've been doing more Old Norse than modern
English recently, so this construction reminds me
of the "anticipatory pronoun" in Old Norse. Where
a pronoun appears in the first clause which
stands in for the following dependent clause,
kind of like:

He intended it, that they would get out.

If you look all of Charles Doyle's examples, I
think they follow that "it...that" pattern
linking the two clauses.

---Amy West

>Date:    Tue, 4 Apr 2006 12:31:56 -0200
>From:    Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
>Subject: Re: Odd dummy subject markers
>>From this discussion, it may be a sort of rule we could
>formulate:  That the quasi-dummy ’Äúit,’Äù as Ron identifies it,
>occurs mainly with verbs belonging to a semantic category of
>COMMUNICATING or REVEALING (a reason Ron’Äôs example seems a
>little odd could be that the verb ’Äúfeature’Äù only marginally
>belongs to the category).  More normal would be:
>~In the Bible it avers that dancing is a sin.
>~It asserts there that we should make a joyful noise.
>~In the New Testament it implies that public prayers are
>~It said on the radio that a cold-front is coming.
>~On the news this morning it reported that DeLay will resign.
>~In the minority members’Äô report it suggested that Bush is a
>~It showed on the Food Channel how to make crepes.
>~On her CAT-scan it revealed a tiny tumor.
>~In the judge’Äôs decision it never even brought up the
>question of a woman’Äôs right to choose.

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