A DIACHRONIC AND SYNCHRONIC STUDY OF THE ALTERATION OF UNIFORM EXPRESSIONS FROM THOSE WHO TO THOSE THAT

Abstract

It is widely acknowledged that ‘those that’ is used to refer to things. However, ‘those that’ is also used to refer to people, as is ‘those who’. This study reports that this commonly accepted idea is not valid based on synchronic and diachronic analysis. Synchronically, it is not rare to encounter ‘those that’ being used to refer to people. Diachronically, the usage of ‘those that’ in reference to people appeared before the establishment of prescriptive grammar. The conclusion of this study elucidates why ‘those that’ as used to refer to people is due to the operation of ‘that’ as a relative pronoun. When an antecedent includes either people or things on one hand and people or animals on the other, ‘that’ is chosen as a relative pronoun. Consequently, ‘those that’ is a uniform expression used to denote both people and things; furthermore, it is an old and unremarkable expression

Keywords: A phraseological unit, Synchronic and diachronic perspectives, Those that, Uniform, Unmarked that


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 28-50 (Download PDF)

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