Missing PREP - redux
Arnold M. Zwicky
zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Thu Apr 10 04:48:58 UTC 2008
On Apr 9, 2008, at 7:10 PM, Randy Alexander wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 10, 2008 at 2:22 AM, Arnold M. Zwicky
> <zwicky at csli.stanford.edu> wrote:
>> these have the feel, to me, of a constructional combination -- a main
>> to anyone who might be interested (1)
>> with the softening "you think" (much like a parenthetical in its
>> semantics) of
>> to anyone (who) you think might be interested (2).
>> so the original
>> to anyone you think who might be interested
>> is much like
>> to anyone, you think, who might be interested
>> (though the parenthetical is more comfortable inside the subordinate
> I can't see it as "to anyone, you think, who might be interested",
> but rather "to anyone who you think might be interested", where "who"
> and "you think" are switched around. At least that was my initial
> But looking further, maybe there really are two relative pronouns
> here. Let's look at some other examples that have the optional "that"
> relative pronoun intact:
> When you sit at the computer naked at the most random times at night
> to see who is as sad as you lookin at all the people that you think
> who could be naked too...
let's step back a bit here. the standard english construction has a
relative marker -- "who", "that", or zero -- at the beginning of the
relative clause, and a gap (within the relative clause) in the
position of the relativized element:
to anyone who/that/0 you think ___ might be interested
this is just the pattern of english relative clauses in general: a
relativizer in front, a gap inside. the puzzling examples we've been
looking at have not a gap but a relativizer *within the relative
clause*. we started with things like
anyone _0_ you think _who_ might be interested (A)
and randy has now added the pattern of
anyone _that_ you think _who_ might be interested (B)
but there's also the pattern of
anyone _who_ you think _who_ might be interested (C)
anyone _0_ you think _that_ might be interested (D)
anyone _that_ you think _that_ might be interested (E)
anyone _who_ you think _that_ might be interested (F)
patterns (C), (D), (E), and (F) are illustrated below.
Oct 21, 2007 ... Please tell anyone who you think who would benefit
that woos will be exposed here. sgf8 and thatguywhojuggles are doing
god's work. ...
You can get the details from one of the couples parents, from the maid
of honor or anyone who you think who can divulge, since is not against
any wedding ...
I would appreciate it if you could forward information to anyone you
think that might be interested in community organizing. ...
Please pass this on to anyone you think that might be able to help and
support me in my cause. Thanks Jenny http://www.justgiving.com/jenniferquirk
If you have anyone that you think that might be looking for a
mortgage, be sure to call me. I said to my nephew, please, please,
call them back. ...
YOU ONLY KNOWS HOW TO STICK TO PEOPLE WHO YOU THINK THAT ARE POPULAR.
HOPING THAT YOU CAN BE IN THE BETTER TEAM FOR CAPTAINS BALL....
now, all of the "double relativizations" (A)-(F), with an overt
relativizer ("who" or "that", rather than a gap) within the relative
clause, are at best nonstandard. that's not the point; the question
is how they arise. there are several possible contributions,
including my parenthetical suggestion above; some interference from
"that"-complements; analogies with other sorts of (non-standard)
gapless relatives, in particular those with ordinary pronouns in the
positions of the gaps (we've looked at these several times on Language
Log, for instance at
analogies with other doublings of subordinators (in particular,
doubling of complementizer "that" -- see Staum & Sag at
and maybe other phenomena that have sometimes been treated as "doubly
filled COMP", in particular, the WH+"that" phenomenon (as in my paper at
so far we've looked only at relativizations of subjects. at the
moment i have no idea what the full picture looks like.
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