nomconjobjs: between you and me/I

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Mon Feb 22 23:10:46 UTC 2010

On Feb 22, 2010, at 2:17 PM, Tom Zurinskas wrote:

>  ... as in the phrase "between you and me."
> I was taught a half century ago in 6th grade how to diagram a
> prepositional phrase, and that the object of the preposition in this
> case is me, which is the objective case of the word "I".

well, no.  in "between you and me"  the object of the preposition
"between" is the (coordinate) noun phrase "you and me" (see Geoff
Pullum's Language Log posting, asterisked in my listing).  the idea
that if some coordinate NP bears the syntactic relation R to an
associated expression X, then each conjunct bears R to X (that is,
that R "distributes over" the conjuncts) is an auxiliary hypothesis,
which can't be taken for granted.  in the case [sorry about that] at
hand, there are other, more satisfactory, ways of describing the case-
marking facts in the(prescriptively) standard variety.

at this point, i think things are being driven back to a widening
series of fundamental issues, and i'm not willing to post on all of
them in turn.  so i'm soon going to close off pursuing the many
threads that are being spun off.


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