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This is a spin-off from:

The difference between 'who' and 'whom'

where (among other things) the sentence

1. '*Whom was given the book?'

was discussed.

I understand that in AmE, this sentence is acceptable:

2. Whom did you give the book?

If 'whom' is acceptable in #2 for 'to whom', is 'whom' acceptable in #1 for 'to whom'? If so, is #1 acceptable as an inversion, with 'book' as subject?

3. 'Whom (IO) was given the book (S)?

i.e. 'the book was given to whom?'

Just curious.

MrP
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Comments  (Page 2) 
Mr P:

If 'whom' is acceptable in #2 for 'to whom', is 'whom' acceptable in #1 for 'to whom'? If so, is #1 acceptable as an inversion


As an inverted, incorporated indirect object, it sounds odd (to me):

Indirect Object
Replacement: You gave the book to whom?
Incorporation: You gave whom the book?
WH-Movement: ?Whom did you give the book?
Non-incorporated: (to) Whom did you give the book (to)?

As for the passive construct,

Indirect Object
active: I gave whom the book?
passive: ?Whom was given the book?
passive: ?(to) Whom was given the book?

But,

To whom was the book given?
*Who was the book given?
Thank you, Casi!

It seems then that the 'dativity' of 'whom' can be reinforced by position (e.g. 'You gave whom the book?'), but isn't quite strong enough to carry off full inversion.

In the sentence 'Whom was given the book?', I find mild panic sets in at 'given': that's when you know something isn't as it should be.

MrP
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Mr P:

In the sentence 'Whom was given the book?', I find mild panic sets in at 'given': that's when you know something isn't as it should be.


It doesn't seem to be a matter of semantics, though, does it?

Max was given the book. (Incorportated IO; recipient)
Whom was given the book? (Incorporated IO; recipient) ~hypercorrection~

Eq makes a valid point, though. The structural subject does seem to require nominative form,

Max, who was given the book yesterday, called to say "Thanks."

But, then again, what have we here?

To whom was the child given?
To whom was who given? (IO was DO Main Verb)
To whom was whom given?
Whom was given (to) whom?

Are the latter two acceptable, and if so, why?
Hello Casi

I would read them as follows:

1. To whom was the child given?
IO aux S pp

2. To whom was who given?
IO aux S pp

3. To whom was whom given?
IO aux S! pp

4. Whom was given (to) whom?
S! aux pp IO

where S! = hypercorrection (*).

The mild panic is fear-of-no-subject ('anonomastikophobia'?) bubbling over. By the time you reach 'given', you know the chances of finding one are pretty slim.

MrP
I'll share my thoughts, albeit from a transformational standpoint, T represents traces.

The child was given to whom
-> [to whom]-i was-j the child Tj given Ti

who was given to whom
-> [to whom]-i was-j who Tj given Ti

*To whom was whom given?
I'd say this violates case agreement, so not grammatical for me. It would be derived from "Whom was given to whom" so the latter two are not grammatical.

eq
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Hello People

I'm fascinated with your discussion. One might take "who was given the book?" as a wh-question obtained by changing the subject to 'who' in "he/she was given the book". But I still feel some oddness in the rule that we can say "who was given the book?" but we cannot say "who did you give the book?". The rule seems to lack some kind of balance between active and passive voices.

By the way, reading OED, I have found an interesting fact. That is, through the history of the English language, the dative interrogative 'whom' has been used almost always [except the one case of 1539's Bible] with combination of a preposition. Please take a look at the quote if you like.

whom the objective case of who: no longer current in natural colloquial speech.
1. In an independent question.
(a.) as indirect object (dative) or as object of a preposition (or after than) .
c1000 Ags. Gosp. John vi. 68 Drihten to hwam ga we? 1300 Cursor M. 8353 O mi kingrike quat redes þou? Quam sal i giue it for to ledd? 1400–50 Wars Alex. 463 To quam has þou þe tane till, tell me þe sothe. 1535 Coverdale Ezek. ***. 2 Whom art thou like in thy greatnesse? I Isa. xl. 18 To whom then will ye licken God? 1539 Bible. Isa. ***. 9 Whom then shal such one teach knowlege? 1591 Shakes. Two Gent. ii. i. 153 Speed. To be a Spokesman from Madam Siluia. To whom? 1603 Dekker & Chettle Grissil iv. i. Shaks. Soc.52 Seek'st thou a better nurse? A better nurse than whom? 1780 Warner in Jesse Selwyn & Contemp. IV. 369 For whom in the world do you think that I was kept so long kicking my heels? 1842 Ruskin Lett. to a College Friend 129 To whom should I write if not to the only one of my friends whom I cannot see? 1866 Le Fanu All in Dark viii, I played today..two rubbers of fives; with whom do you think?
(b.)as direct object (accusative).
971 Blickl. Hom. 45 Hwane manaþ God maran gafoles þonne þone biscop? c1000 Ags. Gosp. John xviii. 4 Hwæne sece ye? 1300 E.E. Psalter ***. 1 Wham sal I drede? 1320 Cast. Love 206 Whom mai he to helpe crauen? 1382 Wyclif Matt. xvi. 15 Whom seien ze me to be? Ibid. ***. 21 Whom of the two wolen ze to be left? 1450 Holland Howlat 69 Quhom sall I blame? 1513 Douglas Æneis i. vi. 38 Bot, O thou virgine, quham sall I call the? 1535 Coverdale Isa. vi. 8 Whom shall I sende, and who wilbe oure messaunger? 1539 Bible. Ps. ***. 25 Whom haue I in heauen but the? 1704 Taverner Faithf. Bride iii. 27 Whom wou'dst thou injure with a Villains Name? 1855 Tennyson Maud i. vi. ii, Whom but Maud should I meet? 1870 Morris Earthly Par. III. 489 Whom think you she has seen?

paco
Dear paco,
"who was given the book?" as a wh-question obtained by changing the subject to 'who' in "he/she was given the book"


Unlikely, what motivates the change of subject? The wh-word should already be in your derivation when you passivise the sentence.

(null) give the book to whom
-> was (null) given the book to whom
-> [to whom]-i (null) was given the book Ti
-> [to whom]i Tj was given the book by(inserted) (null)-j Ti
-> ('to' elided) who-(case deletion)-i Tj was given the book ('by' elided) (null)-j Ti

Or an alternative analysis (which I think is better):
(null) give the book to whom
-> (null) give whom the book (dative alternation)
-> was (null) give whom the book (dative alternation)
-> whom-i (null) was given Ti the book
-> whom-i Tj was given Ti the book by-(inserted) (null)-j
-> who-(case deletion)-i Tj was given Ti the book ('by' elided) (null)-j
but we cannot say "who did you give the book?". The rule seems to lack some kind of balance between active and passive voices.


Perhaps we cannot elide the stranded preposition in an active construction (T represents traces:

you give the book to whom
-> whom-i you give the book to Ti
-> who-(case deletion) did you give the book to [Do-support]

This is however ungrammatical:
-> *who did you give the book (elided)

It seems like you can't elide the stranded preposition in active constructions, but you somehow can in passive ones. Looks far more complicated than it is, for we can analyse the passive as not having the preposition moving:

who-(case deletion)-i Tj was given the book ('by' elided) (null)-j ('to' elided) Ti

Have a tendency feel this analysis is right though. That stranded preps get elided in passive (dative alternation or otherwise) but not active constructions. I know someone who did wh-movement for his PhD. Will ask him and get back to you guys on it...

eq
This is however ungrammatical:
-> *who did you give the book


On whose authority do you call it ungrammatical? It sounds fine to me.

I know that most of the time the "to" occurs at the end, but not always. I Googled "who did you give" and checked the first thirty pages of hits. I found the following:

Who did you give: a raise, a mango, all the canoes, the most personal care of this kind, the money intended for the KLA, the nickname Shorty, that envelope, that?

There was no "to" at the end of any of them.

CJ
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CJ

The result I got by Google survey is as follows.

(1) Who did you give the money to? 120 hits
(*) Who did you give the money? 2 hits
One of the two is found on a German site, which is the one you quoted as "money for KLM".
The other one seems to have been written by some journalist from Mombasa, Kenya,

(2) Who did you give it to? 527 hits [including the sites which use 'too' instead of 'to']
(*) Who did you give it? 0 hits

(3) Who should I give it to/too? 240 hits
(*) Who should I give it? 0 hits

It is true not many grammar books/dictionaries/sites mention this linguistic phenomenon.
The only one I know is Taishukan's Genius E-J Dictionary.

paco
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