Chapter 2. She said “I don’t like her and her don’t like me”

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In the regional variety of English spoken in the Black Country (an area of central England), the object pronoun <i>her</i> is sometimes found in subject function. In a corpus of recorded informal conversations with Black Country dialect speakers, both the Standard English subject pronoun <i>she</i> and its dialect equivalent, <i>her</i>, regularly occurred. This pronoun exchange is not random, but depends on several factors, such as the speaker, the listener, the situational context, the topic, and, most importantly, the speaker&#8217;s relation to the referent of <i>she </i>or <i>her</i>. These social and relational concepts bear similarity to those found in the French <i>tu</i>/<i>vous</i> second person binary politeness distinction, since factors such as solidarity, respect and disrespect affect the choice of pronoun.


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