Even more on who/whom

Interestingly, I am finding that the Romance languages, too, often mixed up Latin cases in deriving their new paradigms. For instance, the dative and ablative cases or the accusative and dative cases. (Don’t thrash me for an incomplete sentence, Mavens) The same thing occurred in English and still haunts us in the confusion over ‘who’ and ‘whom’ viz. the direct object/accusative case in Old English was ‘whone’ while the indirect object/dative case was ‘wham’. The latter evolved into ‘whom.’
So etymologically, someone saying, “The man to whom I gave the fish” is in a direct line with the OE indirect object form; but someone saying, “The man whom I saw” should say “*whon I saw” to be in line with the OE forms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *