The Who/Whom Puzzle: On The Preservation Of An Archaic Feature

  title={The Who/Whom Puzzle: On The Preservation Of An Archaic Feature},
  author={Howard Lasnik and Nicholas Sobin},
  journal={Natural Language \& Linguistic Theory},
It is commonly assumed that the English interrogative/relative pronounwhom is parallel to him and them in manifesting objective pronominal Case. We argue instead that whom is not Case-marked along with these pronouns. Rather, its Case marking follows a different paradigm. Whom in modern English derives from a set of extra-grammatical rules called 'grammatical viruses'. Speakers call upon such rules to check Case and (possibly) agreement features which the normal system of syntax cannot check… 
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Foreign Literatures and Linguistics. Thesis. 1970. Ph.D.