Thursday, September 25, 2008

Language Log weighs in

The question about "my mother she is good" was asked on Language Log.  Here is what Liberman  said.   Cat's comment here seemed right on.  It is a very old construction, from Old English, and has been decreasing in use since the 1500s.  Further, according to Language Log, it is now considered either informal or archaic.  Interestingly, they used a comma in their examples, such as "my mother, she is good."  I think that adds a little more legitimacy to the construction, but not that much.  At any rate, the construction is called "left-dislocation."  I don't know if it requires the comma or not, but I am not going to ask.  Enough on this is enough!  

If you'd like to see our discussion about this on Wordcraft, here it is.

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