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Re: Some isolating verb patterns

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Sunday, January 16, 2005, 5:55
From:    Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
> Quoting Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>: > > Actually, I was thinking of leaving both unmarked, but > > use the SV order for the present and the VS order for > > the imperative. I mentioned this in another thread > > (Let's construction). (relevant lines quoted below) > > Well, imperatives usually don't have explicit subjects, do they?
This is generally true, but in English at least the frequency varies by dialect and grammatical construction. In Southern American English, it is very common to use the plural pronoun _y'all_ when making commands: e.g. "Y'all stay here for a minute while I go look for the keys I left in the apartment." The singular pronoun _you_ is notably less frequent, and is more emphatic: (Mother to son) "You make sure you do your homework before you go out." This is of course identical to the habitual reading of the present tense form, but context and prosodic information distinguish them clearly. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637