Essorant wrote:I don't think it is set in stone, but it is established as a long and strong tradition in the English language. All such Premodern English examples have the same principle no matter what the wordorder: The verb "be" is a copula, and any accompanying pronoun is in the nominative case not the accusative or dative. This is an established tradition, whose length and strength outweigh just ignoring and doing whatever the whim of popular usage turns towards.
However, If the established tradition were somehow illogical or linguistically "out of joint", I would certainly believe we should consider something else regardless of how much the tradition were established. If something were brought forth that were much more logical and better, by all means it would be worth respecting. But whoever looks well, and considers how the meaning of "be" and its use as a copula go along together shall find well that the established tradition is not at all illogical, but very sound and reasonable. Therefore, we have these two things: the long establishedness of it in English and the logical soundness of it.That is already enough. But there is more. There is the "credibility" of the replacement edition. "It is me" has no credible basis or logic that it is based on, nor reason to replace "It is I". It is not much more than lazy ignorance of the establishedness of the English language, blind following and imitation of popular usage, and the kind of modern-centricness that treats whatever is more modern as better and what is less modern as worse simply because it is less modern. That kind of behaviour doesn't deserve to be an "authority" of the English language.
It's just part of the general trend of English becoming more analytic, so just like the dative "me" took over for the accusative "mec", it's now taking over for the nominative. The distinction between "I" and "me" in English, unlike the distinction between "ego" and "me", carries no information. It's just clutter from a previous state of the language, and things like "it is me" just represent a process to make English more regular and more efficient. I'd ask you, what benefit is there to keeping the distinction between "I" and "me" in modern English?
There is a change in wordorder but not in the <i>principle</i> of how the words/wordforms are being used and relate to each other grammatically. For "it is I" retains the longestablished copula + nominative case.
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree then. If no principle is being changed why is it impossible to say εγώ είναι or ego est or das ist ich?
Likewise "I have come", has no grammatical mistake. "I" is correctly in the nominative, and "have" and "come" are the correct forms of the verbs. The wording is different, but the grammatical principles that belong to the words are correct.
Really? You think using a non-nominative form with the copula is a mistake but you have no problem using the past participle of the intransitive verb with the transitive verb "have"? What's the object of "have"? "I have come" on the fact of it is pure nonsense -- what could it mean? At least it's easy to see the development of "I have read the book" from "I have the book read" but what could lead to "I have come" other than a false understanding of the role of "have" in such constructions?
Unlike "it is me" "its" becoming the genitive of "it" had reasonable cause behind it. The initial h of "it" disappeared, leaving "his" having no resemblance to "it" anymore. And the h-form of the genitive being the same as the genitive for he made room for confusion, from whence "its" was proved to be reasonable "solution".
But English, going by Indo-European languages in general, has a long tradition of masculine and neuter nouns sharing the same inflections in the non-nominative/accusative cases
. But on a serious note, I agree that that's the most likely motivation for the creation of "its". I had the impression, though, that you had adopted the view that any change represented a falling away into incorrectness, which is why I brought it up.
As far as the double negatives, without a doubt the the length and strength of tradition being otherwise in Premodern English is a strong argument. But on the other side (unlike "it is me") there is some logic and reasoning for the double negatives meaning positive. Both sides have strong arguments behind them and therefore I may respect both sides. Neither of them is a blind whim of popular usage and just doing it more or less because everyone else is doing it.
I have to admit, I'm a bit surprised by your response -- I'm not sure I've ever seen someone who thinks so little of "it is me" but has no problem with double negatives, so now I'll have to find something else with a long tradition that's decried by many. But I don't see how logic has anything to do with it -- it's just a matter of usage.