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Thread: not you but I

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #21

    Re: not you but I

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "It is I that is..." is completely wrong. "I is" or "I am"???
    If the subject were "I", then, yes, its verb would be am; however, "I" is not the subject here, 3rd person singular "that" is the subject:


    • It is I that is ...

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #22

    Re: not you but I

    You're just flogging a dead horse. You're wrong. If you were right, the BNC would have it. It doesn't. You're confusing this with....


    It's me that he is looking at for goaltender.

    Or some other similar case that we actually hear.

  3. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #23

    Re: not you but I

    Your incorrect answer, "It is I that is..." is not in the COCA American corpus either. 0 hits.

    Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)

    So if it's not in the two largest corpuses, and you can't quote an authority other than yourself..... dead horse flogging.


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    #24

    Re: not you but I

    With cleft sentences I have learnt two types of subject:

    1. surface subject or grammatical subject
    2. deep subject a.k.a. true subject

    And maybe not too surprisingly, two types of subject-verb agreement (notional; grammatical)

    If the subject were "I", then, yes, its verb would be am; however, "I" is not the subject here, 3rd person singular "that" is the subject:
    It is I that (be)...

    It = grammatical subject, preparatory it, empty subject
    I = deep subject or true subject

    With clefting, the method that is applied to give hightened prominence to an utterance is that we shove all possible components of a sentence into the relative clause, except the part that we want to emphasise. Both 'that' and 'who' is possible with human referents.

    According to Swan (PEU; 131.2),

    It is I who am responsible. (formal) (notional concord?)
    It is I who is responsible. (informal) (grammatical concord or proximity rule?)

    To avoid being either too formal or informal, use this:

    I am the person/one who is responsible.

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #25

    Re: not you but I

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post

    Hypercorrection
    • It is I who is to be blamed <E....>
    • It is I who am to be blamed <konungursvia>

    In linguistics, hypercorrection is defined as usage of pronunciation or linguistic rule that many informed users of a language consider incorrect, but that the speaker or writer uses through misunderstanding of prescriptive rules, often combined with a desire to seem formal or educated
    My point, beyond initially helping the learner, was that another member was incorrectly pointing to me in particular, using my actual screen name, as being in error, and guilty of hypercorrection, in order "to seem formal or educated."

    This, after she previously acknowledged my preferred answer to be admissible (Post # 2 of the thread) ; she has previously attempted to denigrate my contributions and attack me personally, so I felt it might be useful to her to have the opportunity to acknowledge she has erred.

    Looks as though she has been hoisted by her own petard, and has herself demonstrated "hypercorrection" with a view to appearing expert.

    Hopefully this incident will assist her in the future, by encouraging her to use better judgment.

  5. RonBee's Avatar
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    #26

    Re: not you but I

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    It's not you but I ______ to blame for not having completed the work.
    A. that am B. that are C. which am D. who

    The given answer is A.

    My questions are:
    1. Do native speakers use the phrase 'not you but I' often or seldom or very rarely?
    2. With the use of 'that am', does the sentence sound odd to native speakers?
    3. How should we recast the sentence to make it more natural?
    1. In my opinion: rarely
    2. It sounds odd to me.
    3. I would say:
    .
    It's not your fault. It's my fault that the work didn't get done.
    .
    That's more likely (IMHO).


  6. Soup's Avatar
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    #27

    Re: not you but I

    Quote Originally Posted by Kondorosi View Post
    According to Swan (PEU; 131.2),

    It is I who am responsible. (formal)
    It is I who is responsible. (informal)
    Nice, find; however, there's a problem: Swan also provides us with "It is me that is responsible (PEU p116)" as an example of Modern English--while others (e.g., Quirk, for one) condemn its usage. It's not that Swan is wrong--he isn't; he's a descripivist: he deals in Modern English--what people actually say, not with how people should actually say it--and as such his examples will indeed house constructs considered ungrammatical by other authorities in the field.

    In short, because we don't know whether Swan's examples stem from prescribed or described usage, the assumption that "formal" means prescribed exam-usage is just that, an assumption (note that, between you and I is also an example of a hypercorrected form--check out what Swan has to say on its formality rating).

    My statement stands: "...I who am..." is an example of hypecorrection; it violates subject-verb agreement.

  7. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #28

    Re: not you but I

    You obviously know the word "descriptivist" -- but have not got enough grip on the facts to see that Swan must describe "what people actually say."

    Yet the corpuses show people don't use what you say. They use what I say.

    My mother has a saying about people like you: "You'd argue with God Himself."

    "It is I who am" doesn't violate subject-verb agreement. It's the norm in the language (did you see Bhai's comment that this is obvious?... did you look at the corpus sites?)

    Additionally, Fowler says it's been accepted since the 17th century that "It is I who am..." is correct.

    So you can't name me and claim I'm in error; you are, obviously.

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    #29

    Re: not you but I

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    The sentence I am to be blamed houses an elliptical phrase:


    • I am the person who is to be blamed. OR
    • I am the one that is to be blamed.


    Within the elliptical phrases are the 3rd person pronouns who and that. As you know, there are no 2nd person pronouns who and that or 1st person pronouns who and that. There are only 3rd person pronouns who and that, and they must agree in number with their verb, which is why 1st person am doesn't work here:


    • I am the person who am to be blamed.
    • I am the one that am to be blamed.


    The above sentences voilate subject-verb agreement: am is inflected for 1st person; who and that are in 3rd person. There is no agreement in person there--number, yes, person, no.

    As you can see, clefting has nothing to do with the ungrammaticallity of the subject-verb agreement in the above sentence: subjects and verbs must agree, and the reason the grammaticality of who am is suspect here:

    • It is I who am to be blamed. <hyper-correction>
    Congratulations, Soup. I have rarely witnessed such utter nonsense argued with such confidence and aplomb - a veritable wonder in the annals of linguistic sophistry!

    Now let's have a few facts to sober ourselves up with: relative pronouns in English govern, and have always governed, the verb according to their antecedent. A first-person antecedent requires a first-person verb, a second-person antecedent a second-person verb, and so forth.

    Thus

    It is I who AM...

    It is YOU who ARE...

    It is SHE who IS...

    It is WE who ARE...

    It is THEY who ARE...

    (to which list one could also add the archaism

    It is THOU who ART...)

    Thus

    It is I am who am to blame.

    is not 'hypercorrect': it is simply CORRECT.

    And as for claiming that

    I am to be blamed.

    is merely an ellipsis of

    I am the person who is to be blamed.

    , you might just as well assert that

    The moon is made of green cheese.

    is actually an ellipsis of

    The moon is known by all upstanding members of the scientific profession to be made of green cheese.

    Simple similarity of overall semantic content does NOT betoken grammatical ellipsis!!


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    #30

    Re: not you but I

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    As you know, there are no 2nd person pronouns who and that or 1st person pronouns who and that. There are only 3rd person pronouns who and that, and they must agree in number with their verb, which is why 1st person am doesn't work here:
    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    relative pronouns in English govern, and have always governed, the verb according to their antecedent.
    Thanks, Philo.

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