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Re: YASGT: Adjectival agreement

From:Andreas Johansson <andreasj@...>
Date:Thursday, February 12, 2009, 14:53
On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 3:21 PM, Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...> wrote:
> On 2009-02-12 Andreas Johansson wrote: >> >> In moderately careful speech I have [de:] (not [di:]) and >> [dOm]. Not sure if this reflects any "genuine" accent or >> is an artefact of my polydialectal upbringing. > > AFAIK no genuine dialect has [de:] for _de_, but only > for _det_ or _det är_; in fact I seem to remember having > read that all dialects that uphold the _de/dem_ distinction > pronounce _de_ as [di] or something derived from that. > The vowel is furthermore normally short IME, since > these pronouns normally are unstressed.
I should have written [de(:)], [di(:)].
> The [di] pronunciation is probably very old, being > shared by Danish and Norwegian where it is standard. > I'd guess it goes back to the time when [i I e] were > in free variation in unstressed position, i.e. before > the 14th century in Swedish and even earlier in > Danish.
Perhaps the change was helped along by the loss of 't' in _det_? _De_ "they" and _det_ "it" are homophones in my ideolect, which is ... suboptimal. It also causes me to type _de_ for _det_ with some regularity.
>>>> FWIW when I speak Bohuslänska I have the -e/-a adjectival agreement >>>> distinction for all historical masculines, not only the animate ones, and I >>>> say _di_ >>>> and _dêm_, but as far as I'm concerned that is a different language. >> >> One funny variant for adjectival agreement I saw advocated in a language >> column in a students' newspaper was to use the -e forms only with masculine >> proper names - I believe the example used was _den store upptäcktsresanden >> Fridtjof Nansen_ v. _den stora upptäcktsresanden_ still refering to Nansen >> but not actually naming him. > > That sounds like someone who feels they ought to use > the -e forms, but can't be bothered to learn the proper > rules.
It may be it, but it boggles my mind that anyone should think it simpler than the "proper" rules.
>> My, possibly unjustified, impression is that the >> stylistic value of upholding the distinction is moving >> from educated to stuffy (I once saw a columnist actually >> apologize for being old-fashioned enough to do it!). > > Aroun here (G-burg) all local speakers (with the possible > exception of some young bimbos who more or less consciously > want to sound like the bimbos on the TV shows) uphold the > distinction, and it doesn't have any stylistic value at all, > being just normal. To me OTOH all-a sounds not just > ungrammatical, but also semantically wrong, like denying the > masculinity of the person referred to. I know full well > that it has no such implications to all-a speakers, but I > can't help it *feels* so to me! Curiously I have no > corresponding feeling about all-e, probably because the > only non-upholding person I talked to regularly as a kid > was my grandfather, who was all-e (he was from > Västergötland).
I'm more or less opposite - I hear the all-a version too often to consciously notice it most of the time, but the all-e version makes me cringe. -- Andreas Johansson Why can't you be a non-conformist just like everybody else?