Is English in the early stages of losing pronoun case and verb concordance?
Anthologica Universe Atlas / Forums / Terra Firma / Is English in the early stages of losing pronoun case and verb concordance?

? dhok posts: 235
, Alkali Metal, Norman, United States
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Consider the following two sentences I've found as Reddit post titles.

Me [26 M] caught my girlfriend [21 F] of 3 months with another guy a couple weeks ago.

Me [19 M] just ended a friendship [18 F] due to feelings of affection.

Somehow, only the 1s object pronoun seems natural here- "him" or "us" would sound a little odder- and then only when there's something causing a hiatus between the subject and the verb.

I've also heard "[subject noun] and [subject noun] (verb with a 3s marker)" a lot. I can't find any text examples right now, but only because I don't know how to Google the construction; it's certainly very common in speech.

There's also the infamous "Me and him went to the store", which is the default construction for everyone but pedants by now.

Finally, Yatalac has informed me that there is a rule in some northern English and Scottish dialects that all present-tense verbs take the 3s marker unless they are immediately preceded by a non-3s pronoun. Apparently this has been around for a while and is on the decrease due to standardization. I don't know whether it has anything to do with the behavior of American English, though.
? Nessari ?????? ?????? ????????
posts: 932
, Illúbequía, Seattle, Cascadia
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quoting dhok, Deacon, Norman, United States:
Consider the following two sentences I've found as Reddit post titles.

Me [26 M] caught my girlfriend [21 F] of 3 months with another guy a couple weeks ago.

Me [19 M] just ended a friendship [18 F] due to feelings of affection.

Somehow, only the 1s object pronoun seems natural here- "him" or "us" would sound a little odder- and then only when there's something causing a hiatus between the subject and the verb.

Those are ungrammatical on their face. I wouldn't even think their authors were English L1s.


I've also heard "[subject noun] and [subject noun] (verb with a 3s marker)" a lot. I can't find any text examples right now, but only because I don't know how to Google the construction; it's certainly very common in speech.

That's them being treated together as a single noun phrase. I can't say where/when I've heard or seen it recently, but it does occur, frequently when treating a list of things as a single subject.

There's also the infamous "Me and him went to the store", which is the default construction for everyone but pedants by now.

Gods it's been a long time since we discussed this, but the short version is the object pronoun forms are also nouns; I remember that Zompist was a stick in the mud on the issue and wouldn't be convinced (surprise surprise) by any heap of evidence shown to him, I want to say by Radius? My recall of any more details is nonexistent.

Finally, Yatalac has informed me that there is a rule in some northern English and Scottish dialects that all present-tense verbs take the 3s marker unless they are immediately preceded by a non-3s pronoun. Apparently this has been around for a while and is on the decrease due to standardization. I don't know whether it has anything to do with the behavior of American English, though.

I doubt it does, because there were dialects in North America (I'm only familiar with Northwest ones, but it easily could have been more widespread) which generalized -s as a present tense marker; if it was derived from that rule, it mutated, because the most common form I've heard is I's for be-1sg. Note that I've only ever heard this in older speakers, and only very rarely.
? thelettermu posts: 262
, Groovy Cat message
quoting dhok, Deacon, Norman, United States:
Consider the following two sentences I've found as Reddit post titles.

Me [26 M] caught my girlfriend [21 F] of 3 months with another guy a couple weeks ago.

Me [19 M] just ended a friendship [18 F] due to feelings of affection.

Somehow, only the 1s object pronoun seems natural here- "him" or "us" would sound a little odder- and then only when there's something causing a hiatus between the subject and the verb.

I've also heard "[subject noun] and [subject noun] (verb with a 3s marker)" a lot. I can't find any text examples right now, but only because I don't know how to Google the construction; it's certainly very common in speech.

There's also the infamous "Me and him went to the store", which is the default construction for everyone but pedants by now.

Finally, Yatalac has informed me that there is a rule in some northern English and Scottish dialects that all present-tense verbs take the 3s marker unless they are immediately preceded by a non-3s pronoun. Apparently this has been around for a while and is on the decrease due to standardization. I don't know whether it has anything to do with the behavior of American English, though.

Maybe it is like in French, where the 1sg nominative is “je”, but when it appears on its own, it has to be “moi”?
? Nessari ?????? ?????? ????????
posts: 932
, Illúbequía, Seattle, Cascadia
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That's a badly oversimplified version of the explanation for the me and him construction.
? Rhetorica Your Writing System Sucks
posts: 1279
, Kelatetía of Space
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If history has taught us anything, it's that any feature linguistically endemic to the northern half of Great Britain is dying. (Actually, I have no idea... But, y'know. Media bleaching.) I'd wager that any evidence of such features occurring across the pond is either coincidental or vestigial.

Additionally: shame on you for assuming the linguistic playfulness popular in online conversation, especially headlines, constitutes conversational English. If it's not being used regularly and casually within the content of a post, it would be best to simply assume you are observing a self-aware fad.
? Radius C / 2π
posts: 113
, Hydrogen, United States
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There's also the infamous "Me and him went to the store", which is the default construction for everyone but pedants by now.

Gods it's been a long time since we discussed this, but the short version is the object pronoun forms are also nouns; I remember that Zompist was a stick in the mud on the issue and wouldn't be convinced (surprise surprise) by any heap of evidence shown to him, I want to say by Radius? My recall of any more details is nonexistent.

Probably not me, unless I was on the stick-in-the-mud side. How y'all can find that usage acceptable - though I accept that it is happening - is just bizarre to me. Pharazon is the only person I know IRL who even uses it. I realize that legit language change etc etc., but to my ear it nevertheless makes people sound like they're still six years old.

I grew up having been taught a rule - it was not presented as a rule of grammar, but rather as a rule of etiquette - that it was rude and selfish-sounding to list onesself first in a multi-person list (if non-ordered, I assume), much the same way that you are not supposed to deal yourself the first card after shuffling. I remember kids in grade school getting told off for it.
? Nessari ?????? ?????? ????????
posts: 932
, Illúbequía, Seattle, Cascadia
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It wasn't about that particular example, actually. Fuck I wish I could remember more.
? Rhetorica Your Writing System Sucks
posts: 1279
, Kelatetía of Space
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"Me and him went to the store" is, honestly, pretty familiar to me. It's always been one of those things you're not supposed to do, but it slips out in casual speech from time to time anyway, especially among those who haven't been inculcated into the church of prescriptivist wisdom.
? Radius C / 2π
posts: 113
, Hydrogen, United States
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"Prescriptivist wisdom" - well it's certainly prescriptivism, but it matters what kind, as evidenced by the fact we all tolerate spelling prescriptivism just fine. Those of you who use this construction seem to feel that it's a matter of grammar, and that the rule against using it is in the same class as e.g. not splitting infinitives.  I.e. language prescriptivism. But it is meant to be manners prescriptivism - in the same class as saying "thank you" when someone does something nice for you, if of less gravity.
? Hallow XIII Primordial Crab
posts: 525
, 侯 at Basel, Switzerland
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What does that have to do w/ anything? If you need to be polite, "him and me" is the same construction.
? Jipí der saz ûf eime steine
posts: 291
, Transition Metal on exhibit in Victoria, Canada
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Idk if it is my German, but aargh my brain insists on "He and I" because nominative.
? Torco Learner of Stuff
posts: 220
, Conversational Speaker message
I don't think that's bad english... it sounds a wee bit posh; a bit of a quirk.
? Nessari ?????? ?????? ????????
posts: 932
, Illúbequía, Seattle, Cascadia
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…it's the exact opposite of posh
? Hallow XIII Primordial Crab
posts: 525
, 侯 at Basel, Switzerland
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He means "he and I".
? Nessari ?????? ?????? ????????
posts: 932
, Illúbequía, Seattle, Cascadia
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Ah. I always have to think about what posh actually means, I rarely if ever hear it in the wild. Almost want to say it's only irregularly heard in America, FUCK YEAH!.
? Torco Learner of Stuff
posts: 220
, Conversational Speaker message
and Bob's your uncle!
? Nessari ?????? ?????? ????????
posts: 932
, Illúbequía, Seattle, Cascadia
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*sells Torco another Coke*
? Torco Learner of Stuff
posts: 220
, Conversational Speaker message
xCocaine_So_Much_Cocaine.jpg.pagespeed.i
? kusuri posts: 37
, Boson, Inna Wurm
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quoting dhok, Deacon, Norman, United States:

Me [26 M] caught my girlfriend [21 F] of 3 months with another guy a couple weeks ago.

Me [19 M] just ended a friendship [18 F] due to feelings of affection.

These read more like "Me: 26 M, caught my girl..." to me, not as actual sentences, especially as they are post titles.
? Nessari ?????? ?????? ????????
posts: 932
, Illúbequía, Seattle, Cascadia
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That makes a hell of a lot more sense.

DAMMIT DHOK