Was that he was guilty obvious?

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Wed Jan 12 19:28:18 UTC 2011

Grammatical in my formal register (Received Standard Scots), but with a
strong pause before "obvious".

Probably not occurring often in an informal colloquial context, and if
written, I'd couch it thus:  "Was that he was guilty, obvious?"

Unlike Jon, I'd see it less as clumsy than as heavily rhetorical, the most
likely context for such a construction being a court of law.


> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Grammatical but clumsy. If I'd written it, I'd revise it.
> JL
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> "Was that he was guilty obvious?"
>> Do you find the above sentence grammatical or ungrammatical?  In other
>> words, in your dialect (or idiolect), can you form an interrogative by
>> inverting a subordinate content clause with an auxiliary?
>> I find it grammatical, but I know that some find it ungrammatical.  I'm
>> trying to see if there is a detectable dialectical split over this
>> pattern.
>> --
>> Randy Alexander
>> Xiamen, China
>> Blogs:
>> Manchu studies: http://www.sinoglot.com/manchu
>> Chinese characters: http://www.sinoglot.com/yuwen
>> Language in China (group blog): http://www.sinoglot.com/blog

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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