S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) English Language and Literature (영어영문학과) Theses (Master's Degree_영어영문학과)
A Corpus-based Study on Whom and Who in the Preposed PP
- 인문대학 영어영문학과
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 대학원
- whom; who; preposed PP; sluicing; PP in situ; preposition stranding; pied-piping; formal register
- 학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 영어영문학과, 2017. 2. 손창용.
- Piles of researches covered the use of whom and who, and the differences between them. Most of them argued that not only in the subject position but also in positions that were originally thought of as whom-only areas, who seems to appear. Nevertheless, scholars such as Jespersen (1969), Sohn (1978), Quirk et al. (1985), Walsh and Walsh (1989), and Bauer (1994) claimed that there still exists an exclusive area for whom, and this is known to be a preposed PP. The term refers to a prepositional phrase that has been moved to the front from the following clause behind.
This paper searched for whom and who in the preposed PP from two big corpora (COHA and COCA spoken data), and compared them to see if whom was exclusively used in that position. It turned out that when used with a preposition, who (although not as many as whom) could be found to a certain extent. However, in the preposed PP, whom-only area, who was seldom used and even nonexistent in some prepositional phrase. The result was quite the contrary to that of whom and who found in the postverbal position. Here, who was used as equally as, or even more (with some verbs) than whom. In addition, from the data organized by genre, this paper could also find that whom itself triggers a formal register.
The possible explanation for such results is that the preposed PP has been a formal register throughout the history. The preposed PP was believed to be a more graceful and perspicuous expression. It has been perceived as more natural, formal, and grammatical than preposition stranding ever since the Middle English.
Accordingly, we can assume that in a formal register like the preposed PP, whom is exclusively used because it triggers a formal register, too. Based on those findings, this study concludes that the preposed PP is indeed an exclusive area for whom, and that whom would last, or at least, it would take a very long time for who to finally replace the place of whom in the preposed PP.