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  1. #11
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is online now Harmless drudge
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    Re: The missing possessive pronoun

    Quote Originally Posted by mark in perth View Post
    Hmmm . . .

    There is an elemental error here, but I need to check Pinker's 'The Language Instinct' for the term that I need to crack this nut. The point is that Mr. Stern Ideas about Grammar (Solution Three on Mr. Pedantic's list) is . . . simply wrong. It is correct to say, for example, 'If anyone rings, tell THEM that I am out.' Pinker fairly rubs the noses of the prescriptivists in it in the chapter 'The Language Mavens,' essential for anyone (like me) making the long journey from a prescriptivist background to lingustics. (It's why I am here. To see what I can learn, what I can teach, and what the state of play is.) Mr. Stern Ideas would be savaged by any linguistics student who has studied this topic!

    Mark in Perth.
    Where is Riverkid when you need him? The piece is probably somewhere here: Steven Pinker

    I've seen it suggested that 'xir' 'should' be coined for the non-gender-specific first person possessive pronoun. But all such suggestions are just so much hot air, when what matters is what people actually do. I agree with MrP, preferring his 3 and 5, though slipping - unwillingly - into 's/he' when pressed for time.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 24-Feb-2007 at 18:24.

  2. #12
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    Re: The missing possessive pronoun

    "...at this point we are putting one set of native-speaker intuitions (from Pinker and Churchyard) up against another (from Lynch)."
    Linguistics 001 -- Prescriptive and Descriptive Linguistics

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