I am reading Scrivener's Plain Introduction to textual analysis, written in 1874, and was surprised by the following construction :

It was presented to the University by Theodore Beza, for whom and his master Calvin the heads of that learned body then cherished a veneration.

I have never before read (that I can remember) a construction quite like this, where a preposition is followed by both a pronoun and by a noun phrase.

At first glance it seems wrong but the meaning is quite clear - the heads of the University had a veneration both for Beza and Calvin.

But I am still trying to get my head around what Frederick Scrivener has done here. Is he striking out on his own or would this be recognisable practice ?

  • 1
    I'd've put (and his master, Calvin) in parentheses, with a comma.
    – Davo
    Jan 31, 2018 at 19:14
  • 1
    ' ... for whom and for whose master, Calvin, ... ' seems more acceptable. Jan 31, 2018 at 19:38
  • @EdwinAshworth Yes, agreed. That is much more comfortable.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 31, 2018 at 20:16
  • @Davo Yes. That occurred to me and is probably how I would 'edit' it myself if I were reporting it.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 31, 2018 at 20:18
  • 1
    This is a violation of the Coordinate Structure Constraint, one of the Ross Constraints on movement rules. Extracting the relative pronoun whom, referring to Theodor Beza, from the coordinate structure Theodore Beza, and his master Calvin has the same ungrammatical effect as saying *Who did the University have a veneration for, and his master Calvin? Jan 31, 2018 at 21:37

1 Answer 1


A Google search for the string for whom and his yielded only a few hits, all before 1920.

His friends, in conjunction with his widow, for whom and his children he had not been able to make any great provision, were anxious to raise a monument of his fame [...] (1798) 2

I have in command to acquaint you, for the information of Earl Bathurst, that Jas BELBIN, for whom and his son accomodation was required by your letter of the 21st ultimo, to be provided on board of the "Kangaroo" for New South Wales [...] (1813)3

The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were extremely fond of long, complex sentences. No one dangled prepositions, yet most everyone had a profound sense of cadence. Scrivener isn't striking out into new stylistic territory; rather, he's more of an epigone.

  • (+1) Not very common, then, and somewhat dated.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 31, 2018 at 20:19
  • Ungrammatical, even then. Jan 31, 2018 at 21:38
  • If I could vote again, I would - for teaching me a new word 'epigone'.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 31, 2018 at 21:44

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