nomconjobjs: some factors

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 23 14:22:14 UTC 2010

448,000,000 hits on "for you and I." Not all relevant of course, but ten
times the number of "for you and me."

There's even _A Grammar Book for You and I (Oops, Me)_, by C. Edward Good.


On Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 12:12 AM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      nomconjobjs: some factors
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> this thread started with things like "between he and his wife" (from
> Joel Berson).  (the classic examples would be things like between my
> wife and I", so some people were taken aback by the nominative object
> as the first conjunct.)  Jon Lighter pointed out that examples like
> the one Joel found were not uncommon (and i gave a few examples, of
> many, from my files), but Jon added that they almost always had 3rd-
> person pronouns.  that's right.  here's a quick summary of the facts
> as i know them (these are *not* in MWDEU, by the way).
> simplifying things, the factors we're looking at here are:
>   (1) position of the nominative object: first conjunct or second;
>   (2) person & number of the pronoun: 1sg, 3sg, 1pl, 3pl (2nd-person
> pronouns show no formal reflexes of person and number).
> plural pronouns are extremely rare in either position, though they do
> occur.
> nominatives are more common as second conjunct than as first conjunct,
> though the frequency of nominatives as first conjunct isn't negligible.
> as the second conjunct, the 1sg pronoun is much more common than the
> 3sg pronouns.  the reverse is true for nominatives as the first
> conjunct: the 3sg pronouns are much more common than the 1sg pronoun.
> to sum up: things are pretty much like the examples we started with:
> the reasonably  frequent combinations are
>   NP + 1sg
> and
>   3sg + NP
> with the former more frequent than the latter.
> arnold
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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