7. Pronouns

7.1 Personal Pronouns

7.1.1 Personal pronouns in subject and object functions

The subject forms (I, you, he, she, it, we, they) of personal pronouns, as the term suggests, are those which function as subjects. Object forms (me, you, him, her, it, us, them) function as objects. [1] (Note that you and it do not have distinct subject and object forms.) However, in certain contexts, object forms function as subjects, and vice versa. [2] This discussion focuses on the uses of the basic forms as listed above and on the uses of the forms ye and ’em, which also occur in the material for the present study. [3] In addition, the use of that instead of it will be dealt with.

The subject form of a personal pronoun occurs as the subject in instances such as We was always sure of water (West Wickham CC) and but they never had blow-up tyres (Waterbeach BB).

However, in the case of an associative plural subject, that is, when the subject consists of two components (NP + PRONOUN, PRONOUN + NP, or PRONOUN + PRONOUN) connected by and, the first- and third-person singular pronouns are in the object form, as in examples 7.1 (a-c), whereas the third-person plural pronoun is in the subject form, as in example 7.1 (d).

7.1 (a) When I was a boy, my brother and me = used to go round = with a clap net (Waterbeach BB)
  (b) Him and * used to saw a stone in Church Lane to make grave stones (Willingham ES)
  (c) Him and me used to go [there] (Lt. Eversden SC)
  (d) I come in here when- when mother and they come in (Newton JF)

(In example 7.1 (b), as in the transcriptions in this study in general, an asterisk is used instead of a person’s name.) For more examples of the associative plural construction, [4] see also 6.2.

In examples 7.1 (a-d), the associative plural subject is immediately followed by a verb. The associative plural construction is also used appositionally, as illustrated by examples 7.2 (a-b).

7.2 (a) We were going to market one Monday morning, me and *. Sit in the bus. (Rampton TR)
  (b) We used to go, me and my brother *, we used to go there at nights trimming flats (i.e. flatten baskets), and half sieves and flat lids. (Willingham ES)

In examples 7.2 (a-b), the speaker ‘tags on’ the associative plural subject as an after-thought after he has completed a sentence. ‘Right dislocation’ of this kind usually has the aim of preventing any misunderstanding by adding an explanatory remark; cf. ‘left dislocation’, discussed below.

Right dislocation is also frequent with the patterns SUBJECT PRONOUN … + NP and SUBJECT PRONOUN… + PRONOUN, as illustrated by examples 7.3 (a-d).

7.3 (a) He used to have a lot of pigs, old Bob * (Newton JF)
  (b) And = he were a big man he was = old Tom * were (Willingham ES)
  (c) He were a good old dog to sheep, he was (Newton JF)
  (d) yeah = th- tha- live agin the church = * did. (Willingham ES)

The NP either stands alone, as in example 7.3 (a), or is followed by a verb, which is often an auxiliary substituting for the verb in the sentence preceding the tag statement, as in example 7.3 (d).

A personal pronoun in apposition is particularly frequent in the pattern SUBJECT NP + PRONOUN in instances such as those illustrated by examples 7.4 (a-b). The appositive use is also attested after the associative plural subject, as in example 7.4 (c).

7.4 (a) And father, he always kept pigs (Swaffham Prior EW)
  (b) And beans, they used to be nineteen stone (Harlton MP)
  (c) Me and Lenny *, we went out one dinnertime (Willingham AA)

This usage is common in dialects in general. It is attested, for instance, in the dialect of Farnworth and district (Shorrocks 1980: 546). Shorrocks illustrates the pattern (a subject noun immediately followed by a dependent pronoun) [5] with the example And the manager he said. Earlier evidence is provided by scholars such as Wright (EDD she, he; EDG 1923: 74), who claims that this pattern is “used redundantly after nouns for special emphasis” (e.g. The Gal, she went, Fison Merry Suf., 1899) and after proper names in particular (e.g. Jack he go to skule, Suf. 1). Hughes & Trudgill (1979: 20) regard pronoun apposition (their term) as one of the features of colloquial style. They illustrate the usage with the example My dad he told me not to. ‘Left dislocation’ (also termed ‘initial dislocation’) of this kind serves the positive purpose of thematization and clarifies the focus of attention. For ‘left dislocation’ and ‘right dislocation’, see also Characteristics of Cambridgeshire Dialect Speech.

In examples 7.4 (a-c), the personal pronoun is introduced immediately after the subject NP or the combination PRONOUN + NP. Subject forms of personal pronouns also occur frequently after a relative clause inserted after the governing NP or pronoun, as in examples 7.5 (a-c).

7.5 (a) The man = what lived there = he used to go round selling coal or one thing another (Lt. Eversden SC)
  (b) Poor people, what hadn’t got the horse and cart, they had to do about well get there like I told you (Waterbeach BB)
  (c) Them what were out of work = they had to dig that there when = dug around ground outside. (Willingham ES)

The personal pronoun it is not attested in apposition to an NP in the pattern SUBJECT NP + PRONOUN. Instead, informants for the present study use the pronoun that, as illustrated by example 7.6 (a), in which the pronoun that follows immediately after an NP, and by example 7.6 (b), in which that is inserted after a relative clause.

7.6 (a) The beam, that was wood (Harston AS)
  (b) Our water what were get here now = that come all the way from Linton (West Wickham CC)

In Cambridgeshire dialect speech, the pronoun that is frequently used in cases where the pronoun it is used in other dialects and in StE. That is often used anaphorically, as illustrated by examples 7.6 (a-b) and 7.7 (a-b).

7.7 (a) I’m done a good bit of sack-carrying behind ’em. [CHUCKLE] That’s all right once you get used to it (Newton JF)
  (b) Well, when they draw that (i.e. piece) in that length = to that piece what’s there = that were the length of the turf (Swaffham Prior EW)

That also occurs as a formal subject, as in examples 7.8 (a-c):

7.8 (a) That’s no use trying to do the double (Willingham ES)
  (b) [They] didn’t use to come back ’fore after tea = to build on them (i.e. houses), ’cause that was hot (Newton JF)
  (c) Course this weather, if you soak this weather, (th)at’s [6] too hot. That’d boil (Burwell GW).

That is also used in the pattern SUBJECT THAT … + NP, as in But that’s been built up a lot = Newton = since I’m been about (Newton JF); [7] cf. examples 7.3 (a-d).

Earlier evidence of the use of that in East Anglia is provided by Wright, who, in his EDG (1923: 75), claims that “in parts of w. Yks. I.Ma. and e.An. that is often used in place of the personal pronoun [it], as in that do or does snow”. The use of that is also attested in the SED material from the 1950s. No evidence is provided from Cambridgeshire, but in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, all counties bordering Cambridgeshire, the expression ‘It’s too hot’ occurs in the form that’s too hot (SED V.7.3; You can burn your mouth in eating porridge if it’s too hot). The use of that is also observed by Claxton (1968: 11) in the Suffolk dialect of the 20th century: “‘That’ is used for ‘it’ and frequently duplicated in an emphatic form with ‘an’ all’ added as a make-weight”. Claxton further illustrated the usage with the example Tha’s hully cowd (cold) s’ mornin’, that that is an’ all. [8]

The patterns described so far deal with personal pronouns in subject function. In object function, the object forms of personal pronouns are generally used. Thus, the object forms me, you, him, her, us and them are used as direct and indirect objects, as illustrated by examples 7.9 (a-b), and in prepositional phrases, as illustrated by example 7.9 (c).

7.9 (a) and then I went down there agin (for StE again), and I met her agin = then. (Harston AS)
  (b) and they give me that (i.e. a book) (Waterbeach BB)
  (c) We used to get on all right with him (Newton JF)

However, the subject form of the first-person plural is occasionally attested in object function near the Essex border in south-east Cambridgeshire, as illustrated by examples 7.10 (a-b).

7.10 (a) Early harvest weren’t no good to help we through the winter (Castle Camps JH)
  (b) America’s top o’ we. Russia’s top o’ we (i.e., farther advanced in space research). (West Wickham CC)

According to Wright (EDD 1989-1905; they), the subject form they (“Emphat. form of the acc. or dat.”, according to Wright), was attested in object function in Essex, e.g. I gave they to she (W.W.S.). As can be seen, the subject form she in object function is also evidenced by Wright’s example. [9] The use of the subject form in object function may also have been more common in Cambridgeshire in the past, since Patterson (1980: 1) exemplified “Cambridgeshire Dialect 50 Years Ago” with cases such as a good ole fashioned remedy for they and Oi can ear ole Daisy and Butter-cup a callin arter Oi and so … goo an look arter they. However, Cambridgeshire informants regard this usage as typical of Suffolk speech in particular. One of the informants exemplified this usage by repeating the words of a Suffolk man and commented on these words as follows: He says, “Let she alone, she belongs to I. If she wants to dance, I’ll dance she.” Ha ha see- see, (th)at’s a little bit of = Suffolk (Waterbeach BB). In the Suffolk dialect of the 20th century, the use of the subject forms in object function is frequent, as noted by Claxton (1968: 11): “In the case of the personal pronouns the nominative is frequently used for the objective and vice versa, e.g. Oi don’t think much o’ they, Oi went out a-walkin’ wi’ she, Oi giv ut t’ he back again, Us don’t want t’ play wi’ he” and “O, har be a bumptious botty bitch, har oon’t speak t’ th’ loikes o’ we” (a description of a new schoolteacher by an old Suffolk woman). As can be seen, one of Claxton’s examples also illustrates the use of the object form us in subject function.

The object form of the third-person plural is frequently [əm], spelled ’em in this study. The usage is illustrated by examples 7.11 (a-c).

7.11 (a) Oh, they used to drive ’em straight them horses. (Bartlow CP)
  (b) If anybody disputes you, you can show ’em the photo (Willingham AA)
  (c) and you’d be all day with ’em, they’d stop out all day (Waterbeach BB)

According to Wright (EDG 1923: 75), the unstressed form is [əm] (OE heom), generally written em or ’em, in all the dialects of Ireland and England.

The second-person singular and plural pronoun ye [ji] is attested occasionally in both subject and object function, as illustrated by examples 7.12 (a-c).

7.12 (a) I think anything happens to you *, you’ll come back to Willingham to be buried, shan’t ye? (Rampton TR)
  (b) He said, “Poor = poor old dear, old mate,” he said, “I’ll help ye.” (Waterbeach BB)
  (c) You could = take a = bottle of milk, a bottle of tea with ye. (Bassingbourn BR)

In Cambridgeshire, the use of the form ye is probably a continuation of an older usage. The second-person plural form ye remained the prevailing form in the nominative until the middle of the 16th century, although the oblique form you for the nominative ye has been recorded since the 14th century (Mustanoja 1960: 125). The form ye survived in dialects, and, according to Wright (EDG 1923: 75), “on the whole the use of ye for the nom. and obj. cases singular and plural is the more general”. In the SED material, the form ye is attested in both the singular and the plural in subject and object functions, together with the archaic singular forms thou (subject) and thee (object) (Wakelin 1972a: 112). [10] The latter two forms are not attested as second-person pronouns in the interviews for the present study.

The plural meaning of the second person is occasionally specified by the use of an appositional noun, as in The boss said, “Have you men counted your bills up?” (Rampton TR) or by the use of the pronoun all in apposition, as in I want you all to bring a grass of some sort (Rampton HP). According to Ellis (1889: 249), in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk you together is used as an address to several persons. In the recordings for the present study, you together is not attested. However, this usage was noted in Cambridgeshire by Teversham (1958: 1-2), who gave the examples come you on in together and What are you up to there together? [11]

7.1.2 Personal pronouns and gender

The animation or personification of inanimate objects and things is known both in StE and in dialects (for dialects, see, e.g., Wright EDD 1989-1905; he, she). The treatment of inanimate objects as masculine or feminine is indicated by the choice of pronoun. The choice of masculine or feminine depends a great deal on the speaker, although certain nouns, e.g. the names of machines and equipment, are usually treated as feminine in the material for the present study, as in examples 7.13 (a-c).

7.13 (a)
TR: and one (i.e. binder) come off that big farm at Long Stanton
MH: Oh yes
TR: She were too wide (Rampton)
Int.: Is the water pump still there?
CC: No, that’s filled down damped down = done away with. I weren’t allowed to keep her (West Wickham)
  (c) When it (i.e. a water pipe) = she gets froze I generally set fire to her (Newton JF)

The masculine pronoun is used to refer to phenomena such as weather conditions, as in example 7.14.

7.14     if there’s thunders I don’t hear much on it = and if I wake up I just roll over and let him go (Newton JF).

Masculine and feminine pronouns referring to inanimate objects occur when the speaker takes a special interest in the object. Animals are often referred to with masculine and feminine pronouns, “since these may be regarded in some sort of way as ‘persons’ or near persons, thus seemingly to justify the use” of these pronouns (Wakelin 1972a: 113-114). Thus, there are instances such as 7.15 (a-b).

7.15 (a) “Have you seen that little colt lately what I bought off ye?” * said, “No, ain’t seen him all summer.” (Rampton TR)
  (b) Next year he come over here, give me a hundred- hundred pound for the filly foal, and she won the champion = several places (Rampton TR)

In formal StE, masculine pronouns are usually employed for people without regard to sex wherever the antecedent has a general indefinite meaning and hence does not indicate sex and the situation does not require an accurate distinguishing between the sexes. Thus, there are instances such as everybody does as he likes. In Cambridgeshire dialect speech, as in colloquial Standard English, the genderless plural they is used instead, as in example 7.16.

7.16     ’Cause everybody went to these pumps after what water they had (Waterbeach BB)

7.1.3 Non-expression of personal pronouns

In Cambridgeshire dialect speech, as in colloquial speech in general, the absence of a personal pronoun in subject function is frequent. Typical contexts are: (i) a declarative sentence followed by a tag question or a tag statement, as in examples 7.17 (a-b); (ii) a reply to a question or a remark expressed by another person, as in examples 7.18 (a-b); (iii) a reproduction of the words spoken by another person, as in examples 7.19 (a-b); and (iv) short ‘descriptions’ consisting of sentences or clauses with the same subject, as in example 7.20.

7.17 (a) Used to live down er = the road down there just by the church, didn’t we? (Bassingbourn BB)
  (b) Used to fatten one up purpose, he did. (Newton JF)

The context, that is, the pronoun in the tag question and tag statement, confirming the idea expressed in the first statement, makes the expression of the pronoun unnecessary for understanding.

7.18 (a) Int.: Do you have any old army friends here?
    CM: Een’t got a lot here, no. (Fulbourn)
  (b) MH: I only just remember *.
    AA: Don’t ? (Willingham)

It is not necessary to express the pronoun, since it is understood from the question. A similar phenomenon occurs in cases in which the words spoken by another person are reproduced, as in examples 7.19 (a-b).

7.19 (a) MH: But he left school at nine.
    SS: Left school at nine. (Willingham)
  (b) MH: She kept the shop as well.
    HP: Kept the shop as well. (Rampton)

A personal pronoun is often not expressed after the first sentence or clause in groups of sentences or co-ordinate clauses with the same subject, as in example 7.20.

7.20     TR: And they were putting nothing in the manger.
    MH: No
    TR: Hadn’t got a bit nothing to put in. Come home a (for StE at) dinnertime = start a little cutting [hay]. (Rampton)

In cases such as example 7.20, it is not necessary for understanding to repeat the subject pronoun expressed in the first sentence.

7.2 Possessive Pronouns

The uses of the determinative possessive pronouns my, his, her, our, your and their and the independent possessive pronouns mine, his, hers, ours, yours and theirs correspond to those in present-day StE. The interviews for the present study also include the older forms hisn, hern, ourn, yourn and theirn. The following discussion focuses on the uses of these older forms. The uses of the pronouns its and me will also be dealt with.

The first-person singular pronoun in determinative function usually occurs in the form me, e.g. [He] knock me off from me bike (Waterbeach BB). This form is frequent in colloquial speech in general. [12] The form my is infrequent compared to the form me, and occurs usually as a stressed form in cases such as You know my meaning? (Willingham AA).

The third-person singular pronoun its is attested in a few cases such as He’d got that pheasant, he were gnawing its neck to kill it (Waterbeach BB). The relevant SED responses (IV.6.20 and VI.1.7), referring respectively to a chicken and a baby, also show the form its (break its neck; its forehead) in Cambridgeshire. However, the form its is extremely rare in the material for the present study, compared to the third-person singular masculine and feminine pronouns. [13] Animals and inanimate objects and things are usually referred to with the pronouns his and her, as illustrated by examples 7.21 (a-b).

7.21 (a) [They] used to cut his (i.e. a pig's) throat (Bassingbourn BR).
  (b) And it had a bit of wood = for his breast (Willingham SS)
(The speaker is talking about a type of old scythe which he calls a dilly shaver)

For the use of he and she with names of animals and inanimate things and objects, see 7.1.2. A reason for the rarity of the pronoun its may be a continuation of an old usage. His was used both for the masculine and neuter possessive until the end of the 16th century, when the neuter form its began to appear (Mustanoja 1960: 157). According to Wakelin (1972a: 115-116), “in dialect, various alternatives to its are still employed: (a) “first of all, a large area in the north Midlands uses the old form it”, while (b) “his is also apparently general in dialect”; in addition, (c) “periphrastic constructions”, e.g. of him, of en, occur in the south. Wakelin draws evidence from the SED material, based on field work done in the 1950s. Periphrastic constructions with of, which Wakelin observed in the southern SED material, are occasionally used in Cambridgeshire, as illustrated by example 7.22.


Our offward side would be the right-hand side of her ... your left-hand side ... but the right-hand side of her … (Willingham SS)

(In this example, the speaker is referring to a cow.) The use of periphrastic constructions is another reason for the rarity of the pronoun its in the material for the present study. The form its is not used as an independent pronoun. The pronoun in this construction is usually him/her or that. The latter is illustrated by the example These games I'm talking about = them = took the place of that (i.e., whip and top) (Willingham SS). Cf. also the rarity of the personal pronoun it and its ‘replacement’ with the pronoun that, discussed in 7.1.1. In Cambridgeshire dialect speech, periphrastic constructions with of may be survivals of an older usage. Of with the personal pronoun was “occasionally used for the dependent possessive in ME, apparently for reasons of rhythm or emphasis” (Mustanoja 1960: 158).

The use of the independent possessive pronouns mine, hisn, yourn and theirn are illustrated by examples 7.23 (a-d).

7.23 (a) I wanted a pair [of shoes] and I- I tried scores of pairs and I always used to have mine = away from army stores, ’cause they are broad (EF Over)
  (b) Fred bought an accordion with hisn (i.e. his money) (Willingham SS)
  (c) Twenty-seven comb down from home and load yourn up and be off agin (for StE again), then come back and load another one up (West Wickham CC)
  (d) And the- then- then = somebody er wanted the one like mine (i.e. my bicycle), and I wanted one like theirn (Waterbeach BB)

In the 1970s, Cambridgeshire dialect speakers still occasionally use the old n-forms of the third and second persons, with the exception of the form hern, which is not attested in the interviews for the present study. According to Mustanoja (1960: 164), in the South and the Midlands, -n began to be attached to other independent possessives as well (hisen, hiren, ouren, youren, heren) after the analogy of min and thin about the middle of the 14th century. Wright (EDD 1989-1905; hisn, hern, ourn, yourn, theirn) noted the n-forms from various areas. Hisn, hern and theirn were attested, for instance, in the Midlands (“also written hisen”, for instance, in East Anglia). Similarly, ourn and yourn were in “general use in the midlands”. [14] The forms hisn, hern, ourn, yourn (sg. and pl.) and theirn have also been recorded in the SED (IX.8.5) data representing Cambridgeshire dating from some twenty years earlier than the material for the present study. [15]


[1] In discussions about personal pronouns, terminology varies. For instance, terms such as subjective and objective (Beal 1993: 205), oblique (Harris 1993: 146-147), subject case and object case (Shorrocks 1980) and subjective case and objective case (Shorrocks 1999) are used. None of these terms are “altogether satisfactory”, as Shorrocks comments with regard to his own terms.

[2] Generally speaking, this interchanging of subject and object functions is common in dialects, as noted, for example, by Edwards & Weltens (1985: 115) in their report on research on non-standard dialects: “Object pronouns can occur in subject positions (Midlands, S. England), or vice versa (parts of S. England)”.

[3] A very detailed description of the variety of forms used in subject and object functions is presented by Wakelin (1972a: 112-115). His evidence is based on the SED material.

[4] This construction is noted in various studies of non-standard speech, usually with examples of the object form in the first- and third-person singular pronouns. The construction has various names and descriptions. For instance, in his Grammar of the Dialect of Farnworth and District (Greater Manchester County, formerly Lancashire), Shorrocks (1980: 542) uses the term multiple subject and in her “Grammar of Tyneside and Northumbrian English”, Beal (1993: 206) uses the term compound subject. In his “Grammar of Irish English”, Harris (1993: 147) describes the construction: “the oblique form” is used “as a subject pronoun when it is conjoined with another subject”.

[5] The same pattern is explained by Shorrocks (1999: 85) as follows: “a topicalised NP in subject function is immediately followed by an anaphoric personal pronoun in apposition to it”. Shorrocks further notes that “topicalised is used here (as often elsewhere) in a general way”. Various other terms, such as pleonastic pronoun, redundant pronoun, resumptive pronoun, are used of the personal pronoun in this pattern.

[6] Upton et al. (1994: 487) present the “nominative singular neuter” unstressed form [ət] in their presentation of the third-person personal pronouns. This form is attested in areas such as Suffolk (in the SED-frame VII.5.1). The form [ət] is also given as the “objective singular neuter” unstressed form in Suffolk and Essex.

[7] In Vasko (1990: 12; A paper read at the Second National Research Seminar on English dialectology: Britain and the Nordic Countries 1990, Tampere, Finland) the uses of that and it were discussed as follows:

One of the outstanding features is the difference between the functions of the pronouns that and it: That is used as a subject in the initial position, whereas, with few exceptions, it is used only in the final position, in tag questions. The function typical of it is that of an object. The uses of that show a greater variety: In addition to the various uses as a subject with anaphoric and cataphoric reference, the pronoun that is common also as object.

This finding was based on the data in Ojanen (1982), with nineteen informants. The evidence drawn from the larger database (226,654 words), with thirty-eight informants (Vasko 2005), shows the same typical patterns. Nevertheless it is found somewhat more frequently in pre-verbal position in the 2005-data than in the 1982-data. (The figures for Vasko 2005 are as follows: that 70 % vs. it 30 %). One explanation for the higher frequency is the greater number of female and younger informants in the data of Vasko 2005 compared with Ojanen 1982.

Ihalainen (1990a: 91-95) studied the use of the pronoun that in three corpora from Cambridgeshire (some 27,000 words), Somerset (23,000 words) and Yorkshire (14,700 words). The Cambridgeshire material was collected by Vasko (Ojanen) and the Somerset material by Ihalainen (for details, see http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/CoRD/corpora/Dialects/index.html). For the Yorkshire material, see Melchers 1977. Ihalainen claimed that the use of that instead of it is more frequent in Cambridgeshire English than in Somerset English; in Yorkshire English the use of that instead of it is very infrequent. Ihalainen further noted that in Cambridgeshire and Somerset that can be used both anaphorically and as a formal subject.

Ihalainen (1990a: 91-95) came to the conclusion that the high incidence of that in Cambridgeshire is mainly due to the frequent substitution of that for the formal subject it, whereas in Somerset that is frequently used anaphorically and as plural that (Ihalainen’s term). Ihalainen’s examples of that as a formal subject include That’s her birthday today, That’s not safe to go out and That didn’t dawn on us they could see us from Cambridgeshire and That’s nice up there from Somerset. The difference between Cambridgeshire and in Somerset English is further illustrated by the examples That was Saturday night, that was (Cambridgeshire) and It was Saturday night, that was (Somerset) and by the examples That all depends (Cambridgeshire) and It all depends (Somerset).

Anaphoric usage of that is exemplified by the Somerset instances That’s where your cider used to come out in a big tub, did that (JM) and Where that black (i.e. black mark) is, that (i.e. the lightning) hit (JS), where that occurs in repetitive tags (Ihalainen’s term). Plural that is illustrated by examples such as That was his words and When our sheep was out the other farm, well, we had a man out there looking after that (JCr), where that refers to the plural antecedent (i.e. sheep). Ihalainen did not attest any instances of plural that in his Cambridgeshire sample. Generally speaking, findings from the larger Cambridgeshire corpus in Vasko (2005) correspond to those of Ihalainen. However, further qualitative and quantitative studies are needed.

In her discussion of the East Anglian patterning of that and it as anaphoric pronouns (that-anaphora), Poussa (2001a: 252) concludes that the phenomenon of that-anaphora is probably a relic of the Scandinavian settlements, and has receded eastwards.

[8] The frequent use of the pronoun that in East Anglia is further noted by Trudgill & Chambers (1991a: 8; also, e.g., Trudgill 1995: 136-137). Trudgill & Chambers claim that “in East Anglian dialects of English, it occurs only as an object pronoun, with third-person neuter singular subjects being indicated by that”. They illustrate the usage with the examples That’s raining. I don’t like it – that’s no good.

Shorrocks notes the use of the pronoun that in the dialect of the Bolton area in emphatic constructions with the pattern PRONOUN … DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUN, e.g. well it sounded all right that did (Shorrocks 1999: 87) and it was [a] beautiful summer, that was (Shorrocks 1980: 548).

[9] “Pronoun exchange”, which is a common feature of south-western traditional dialects (for this feature in Somerset, see, e.g., Ihalainen 1985b: 153-161; 1987: 74-75), is discussed by Trudgill in “the Traditional Dialect area of Essex” (1990: 89-93). Trudgill exemplifies pronoun exchange in Essex using the Essex Ballads, written in the 1890s in the dialects of the rural areas around London. Trudgill further claims that pronoun exchange might have been more widespread formerly, “before the spreading out from London of forms closer to Standard English”.

[10] The form ye also survives in dialects such as Tyneside English. Beal (1993: 205) observes that the Tyneside system has distinctive forms for the subjective, objective and plural of the second person pronoun, whereas StE has to make do with you for all these functions. The usage is exemplified by the instance Ye can get lost, Kevin!

[11] Trudgill (1990: 85) regards the structure as a feature of the Traditional Dialects of the Eastern Counties (i.e. Norfolk, Suffolk and north-eastern Essex). Trudgill illustrates the usage with the example Are you comin’ together? (“with emphasis on coming”) meaning Are you (plural) coming? Trudgill adds that in Traditional Dialects you is singular. (Trudgill divides the dialects into Traditional Dialects and Mainstream Dialects, which include both the Standard English Dialect and the Modern Nonstandard Dialects.)

[12] Cf., for instance, Trudgill & Chambers (1991a: 7), who claim that the possessive me (e.g. I’ve lost me bike) is “very common in many parts of Britain, and occurs even in colloquial Standard English speech”.

[13] The rarity, even the non-existence, of the form its is also noted, for instance, by Shorrocks (1999: 91), who mentions that “no third person singular neuter form was elicited” in the material of the dialect of the Bolton area.

[14] The n-forms are attested in various dialects. Edwards & Weltens (1985: 116) note that possessive pronouns “typically end in -n (hisn, hern, etc.) in S. Wales, the Midlands and S. England”.

[15] For details, see also Upton et al. (1994: 488).