This book investigates the use of English third person pronouns (he, she, it) across different varieties of English, where we frequently find he and she used for inanimate objects (the tree – he, the house – he, the bucket – he, but the water – it). It is the first book-length study of this subject. Varieties of English are discussed in the context of Germanic and Romance languages and dialects as well as a small sample of additional languages. The analysis is conducted within the framework set out by functional typology. The book's straightforward and illuminating generalization in terms of the well known hierarchy of individuation provides a systematic link between pronominal usage in Standard English and its varieties.
Table of Contents
Abbreviations; Acknowledgments; 1 Introduction; 2 The Southwest of England; 3 Newfoundland; 4 Tasmania and other Parts of Australia; 5 Informal Spoken American English; 6 Fictional Texts; 7 Generalizations across Varieties of English; 8 Modern Standard English; 9 A Cross-linguistic View on English Varieties; 10 The Categorial Status of Pronominal Mass/Count-Agreement; 11 Conclusion and Outlook; Bibliography
Dr. Peter Siemund is a Professor of Linguistics at the Department of English and American Studies, University of Hamburg and is also author of Intensifiers: A Comparison of English and German (Routledge, 2000).