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H.L. Mencken (1880–1956). The American Language. 1921.

Page 296

  This-here, these-here, that-there, those-there and them-there are plainly combinations of pronouns and adverbs, and their function is to support the distinction between proximity, as embodied in this and these, and remoteness, as embodied in that, those and them. “This-here coat is mine” simply means “this coat here, or this present coat, is mine.” But the adverb promises to coalesce with the pronoun so completely as to obliterate all sense of its distinct existence, even as a false noun or adjective. As commonly pronounced, this-here becomes a single word, somewhat like thish-yur, and these-here becomes these-yur, and that-there and them-there become that-ere and them-ere. Those-there, if I observe accurately, is still pronounced more distinctly, but it, too, may succumb to composition in time. The adverb will then sink to the estate of a mere inflectional particle, as one has done in the absolutes of the thisn-group. Them, as a personal pronoun in the absolute, of course, is commonly pronounced em, as in “I seen em,” and sometimes its vowel is almost lost, but this is also the case in all save the most exact spoken English. Sweet and Lounsbury, following the German grammarians, argue that this em is not really a debased form of them, but the offspring of hem, which survived as the regular plural of the third person in the objective case down to the beginning of the fifteenth century. But in American them is clearly pronounced as a demonstrative. I have never heard “em men” or “em are the kind I like,” but always “them men” and “them are the kind I like.”
  The relative pronouns, so far as I have been able to make out, are declined as follows:
  Two things will be noted in this paradigm. First there is the disappearance of whom as the objective form of who, and secondly there is the appearance of an inflected form of whose in the absolute, by analogy with mine, hisn and thesen. Whom, as we have seen, is fast disappearing from standard spoken American; 78 in the vulgar