Southernisms (was Re: Genitive relationships (WAS: Construct States))
|From:||Tom Wier <artabanos@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, March 10, 1999, 7:58|
"Raymond A. Brown" wrote:
> I've always understood that the modern 'I was going...' derived from the
> older and now largely obsolete 'I was a-going...' (I believe such forms
> still survive in some parts of the US - tho maybe that is another Brit.
> myth :)
Nope. It's true, but it's extant now only in the most rural and isolated
regions of the country, like Apalachia. I know that it used to be very
common in the South, but with the advent of better communication and
education, and the development of a quasiofficial Standard dialect, it has
disappeared almost everywhere. To probably about the same
extent that nonrhoticness has in the region (which, too, used to be
Some other interesting Southern idiosyncracies:
(1) [E] / [nasal] --> [I]; [&] / [nasal] --> [E]
(I believe this is also common in many Western varieties
of American English, too)
(2) final consonant cluster reduction: [lEft] --> [lEf]
(3) [ai] --> [a:]
(4) [l] / _p# or _f# --> [p] or [f]: [hElp] --> [hEp]
(5) [l] / _k --> palatal lateral approximant
(6) loss of [n], and nasalization on preceding vowel
(7) [lr] --> [rr]: "a'right" (except in careful speech)
I've personally noticed only items 1, 3, 5, 6, and 7. I personally
only have 1, 5, and 7, and, if I'm tired, 3.
(8) [In] for -ing: nearly universal, as I suspect in many areas of the
country (if not the world)
(9) _y'all_, of course, which can imply (for me at least)
paucality, where some phrasal unit like _[Al@yAl]_
serves for more than that. The genitive is generally
_y'all's_, as y'all've seen from my posts, but I've actually
heard _y'all'ses_ <dreadful shudder>.
I know this last exists in Britain too, but is very much stigmatized.
I know, I know, it's all offtopic. Oh well. Start a new one I guess.
Tom Wier <artabanos@...>
ICQ#: 4315704 AIM: Deuterotom
"Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."
There's nothing particularly wrong with the
proletariat. It's the hamburgers of the
proletariat that I have a problem with. - Alfred Wallace