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CHAT: Nonstandard usage (was Natural language change (wasRe:Charlie and I))

From:Thomas R. Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 28, 1999, 18:45
Don Blaheta wrote:

[Welcome back, Don!]

> Quoth Thomas R. Wier: > > But the question was not about "Did you do your homework?"; that > > is also perfectly normal for me to say. What I was getting at was th=
> > use of "yet" to take on the full load of the perfectivity: I find it=
> > when someone says "Did you do your homework *yet*?" > > The mind boggles. Now that you point this out, I understand what you > mean, but I didn't even understand the objection at first. Yeah, I > rarely use "have" *except* if the main verb is "be" (where the > distinction carries). > > Did you do your homework? He did his homework. > Did you do your homework yet? He did his homework already. > *Have you done your homework [yet]? *He's done his homework [already].
Well, for me, the last pair of sentences are grammatical, but the adverbs are redundant; they don't really add any meaning to the sentence. The second pair of sentences would be ungrammatical for me, but I hear it so often, I can't really call it that.
> Have you been sick? > I been sick. You been sick. He's been sick. she's been, we been, the=
y been.
> Were you sick? I was sick. > > (Fun side note: that the =B4ve disappears, at least when I'm not being > careful to be formal.)
I do a similar thing for "to have got to" (meaning "must"). Usually, it comes out as: I gotta, you gotta, he's gotta, we gotta, y'all gotta, they gotta. I can forsee a time when "gotta" will become completely grammaticalized, losing the "'s" in the third person singular.
> > > However, it really annoys me to hear people use the perfect tense > > > where one would usually use the past tense, e.g. there was a > > > commercial where a woman said something like "Tony's been my dentis=
> > > since I've been a child." AARGH!! :) > > See, this one sounds clearly wrong to me. I wonder why I've managed to > keep the distinction, but only in "to be"...? Are there other language=
> out there where some tense or mood or such is only used for certain > verbs, leaving the other ones to drop into a different tense?
Can't think of any off hand. There seem to be lots, though, where tenses begin losing aspectual information. In German, you pretty much have to use the simple past, <war> "was" instead of the perfect <ist gewesen> "have been" (they're identical in meaning anyways, so it's not much of a loss). All verbs that can be helping verbs (haben, sein, werden) work like this, while all other verbs have to use the perfect in the spoken language. Ancient Greek had something similar: lots of verbs which were morphologically present in form, but semantically perfect or some other tense in meaning: oikhomai =3D I have gone h=EAk=F4 =3D I have come dramoumai =3D I will run etc. It looks like we're getting something like this in English: to have got =3D to have (Incidentally, for all English speakers: I don't know of any American who'd use "I've gotten" synonymously for "I have") Ah, ain't linguistic syncretism great? ;| =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D Tom Wier <artabanos@...> ICQ#: 4315704 AIM: Deuterotom Website: <> "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero." Denn wo Begriffe fehlen, Da stellt ein Wort zur rechten Zeit sich ein. -- Mephistopheles, in Goethe's _Faust_ =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D