Tuesday, July 5, 2016

object clause

Pop quiz!

Does this sound right to you?

It is right. 

Normally, you'd say "who should simply leave the Internet"  But this time the clause is the object to the previous chunk, the clause that tells who does what to whom, "I believe whom" That is the previous chunk and the main clause so you stick with whom even though that noun is the subject of it's own continuing clause, this time it's an object clause. 

I believe whom/who should leave the internet.

Whom wins.

And oddly, the same thing happens in hieroglyphics and the same thing happens in ASL. The noun as object has its own form and keeps its form as subject of its own clause. In hieroglyphs all of the "it" "you" "he" "she" "them" all those things change, and stay that way as the next chunk continues. In sign the same thing happens. When subject noun A does something to object noun B then B is positioned where A left off and whatever B does after that starts where A left it. Out there in left field perhaps.  So it's changed. You do not revert to textbook sign for B because A did something to it and your story continues. 


rhhardin said...

The relative takes on the case of its function in its own clause; the clause itself can independently be an object but that doesn't affect the relative.

I believe modifies the entire sentence, an adverbial adjunct or something or other I'm too lazy to look up.

More interesting in ancient influences is the English rule that subjects of non-finite verbs (verbs not carrying tense, like infinitives and participles) are in the objective case, which rule comes from Latin indirect statement.

ricpic said...

Does whom always follow to -- as in "To whom are you referring?" Or is "to who" correct in certain grammatical cul-de-sacs?

One thing I do know is that the phrase is always "Who dat?" never "Whom dat?"

rhhardin said...

To who is a register error, rather than a case error, in modern English.

The avoidance of a trailing preposition is formal register, and who for whom is informal register, and they don't mix.

So we have

For whom the bell tolls,
Who the bell tolls for.

Whom the bell tolls for in fact is too stodgy to use, unless you want the stodgy effect.