query about person in coordination

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Thu Sep 22 19:52:26 UTC 2005

On behalf of a student of mine who's writing an honors thesis on  
pronoun case in English, I'm soliciting information on how pronouns  
of different persons are ordered in coordination.  We expect to see  
preferences for certain orders, rather than strict constraints;  
probably this is why such ordering principles are rarely noted in  
reference grammars, in the literature on coordination, or in the  
literature on person.

To complicate things further, the facts in any particular language  
might depend on the case of the pronouns.  This is famously the case  
in English, where nominative "I" is usually ordered last in a  
coordination ("you and he and I"; this is frequently said to be a  
matter of "politeness"); for accusative pronouns, there seems to be a  
preference for the order 2 - 1 - 3 ("you and me and him"), and a  
similar preference shows up in some other languages, including (we  
think) Mandarin (which, conveniently, lacks case marking).

Data from other languages?  References?


More information about the Lingtyp mailing list