The following sentence contains a demonstrative adjective which modifies a participle and does not look correct to me. Please verify.
"This being my first year, I want to thank you...."
Nor can I, it depends what follows.
(I have a feeling that it feels wrong to you because you're trying to parse 'this' as modifying 'being'; it doesn't. It modifies 'year' - either the one at the end of the clause or an unstated one in the elided form of "This [year] being my first year, I want to thank you....". [In fact, you could elide the 'second' year, and say "This year being my first, I want to thank you....". I prefer the original version though ])
Last edited by BobK; 03-Jul-2008 at 12:14. Reason: Fix typo
The confusing factor might be that the participle 'being' has the subject of its own which is different from the subject of the sentence.
Cf.: Being in my first year, I want ...
This being my first year, I want ...
As far as I know, this type of structures is called nominative absolute participial construction. They may function in the sentence as adverbials of time, reason, attendant circumstances.
Or, in Latin the "ablative absolute" - those were the days