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Nominative subjects of non-finite clauses in Hiberno-English

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Abstract

Hiberno-English (Irish English) dialects have developed an innovative grammatical pattern where the pronominal subject of an embedded gerund clause is marked with nominative instead of accusative or genitive case. This paper traces the use of this structure in older forms of Hiberno-English and contrasts it with corresponding patterns in Standard English and in Irish. It is argued that the development of the pattern is indirectly due to structural transfer from Irish, although superficially the resulting distribution of nominative and accusative pronoun forms in Hiberno-English differs crucially from that in both the substrate and the superstrate language.

References

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