Date: Sat, 26 Jul 1997 12:15:30 -0400 From: "Dennis R. Preston" Subject: Re: "is is" In every case where 'is' is the 'extra is' (i.e., 'pleanastic' one), I find that it would be very reasonable to assign it to COMP. Note that in this sense it is not so far off from the '-s' of 'All's I know...' construction where the '-s' rather obviously derives from an older COMP (i.e., 'as') which not only competed with 'that' in the history of English but won out in some varieties. 'I know as he's going' = 'I know that he's going'. As further support, I also suspect that this pleonastic 'is' does not occur with an overt COMP: What we decided to do is is we would ignore John. but ?What we decided to do is is that we would ignore John. But I'm not so sure. I may be a semi-speaker of this variety and my judgment of the questionable sentnece I cite above may be no good. What about pleonastic 'is' as COMP? DInIs >As I recall, this construction has been discussed here before. What my > memory also is is that several years ago in AMERICAN SPEECH someone (Jim >Hartman?) published something on how this pleonastic (?) IS may have evolved >from the long-grammatical "is is" of cleft sentences (e.g., in the opening >words of this sentence). > >Can anyone help us out with a bibliography of this putatively new >construction? Dennis R. Preston Department of Linguistics and Languages Michigan State University East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Office: (517)432-1235 Fax: (517)432-2736