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CHAT: "Y'all"

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Saturday, February 10, 2001, 2:30
I've noticed something interesting in my idiolect.  In formal registers,
of course, I use "you" for all numbers, but in informal registers, I
Singular: You
Dual: You two/(you guys)
Plural: Y'all/you guys

I *never* use Y'all for two people, tho I've heard that usage a number
of times.  I suspect it's because I still perceive the "all" in "y'all"
(which might also explain why I find "ya'll" so irritating).  I don't
use "you guys" very often with two people, but I do occasionally.  Thus,
my (informal) speech has a near-obligatory *dual* number in the second
person, but not for 1st or 3rd!  A rather ironic reversal of the
situation in Standard English, where 2nd person is *deficient* in
number!  :-)

Also, I never use "y'all" in tag questions, only you.  I noticed that
when I heard a co-worker say (jokingly) "Y'all don't have any confidence
in us, do y'all?", it struck me as very bizarre to say that.

Cenedl heb iaith, cenedl heb galon
A nation without a language is a nation without a heart - Welsh proverb
ICQ: 18656696
AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42