Thursday, April 09, 2009

Going going gone pro

Think English might be a null-subject language?

Could be.


  1. For some reason my comments don't show up at Polyglot Conspracy nowadays ...

    I wanted to say this: People frequently *speak* this way, eliding repeated subjects. But then, they also elide repeated verbs (I read Moby Dick and John Last of the Mohicans).

    I think this is very informal, but not quite "null subject"

  2. true. it's not a fully grammatical construction. and it's obviously used to influence tone because of that. also journal style: woke up. brushed my teeth. had some coffee...

    and other than register, i don't think the employment of that tone is any more likely in different dialects.

    There is some pro-drop in questions:
    "____ think X?"
    "____ want to Y?"
    "____ see the Z over there?"

    but those are also less formal. imperatives are still the only pro-drop structures i can think of that don't change the tone. then again imperatives are almost always 'conversational'.


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