Posted by Neal on November 21, 2008
“I can’t believe you put up with me,” my wife said.
“Nor I you me,” I replied.
She burst into laughter. After all, it’s pretty funny to imagine that she might have trouble putting up with me.
Gapping is a kind of nonparallel coordination in which two clauses are coordinated, each having the same main verb, and the verb is omitted from the second clause. Here’s an example:
Jim ordered a milkshake, and Kim (ordered) a beer.
If the subject and direct object in the verbless clause are pronouns, we end up with the somewhat unusual case of an entire clause consisting of pronouns:
Jim: I love you.
Kim: And I (love) you.
But I’d never heard a gapping sentence with both a main verb and an embedded verb omitted in the second clause, until I heard myself saying
Nor (can) I (believe) you (put up with) me.
Have any of you encountered bilevel gapping in the wild?