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YASGT: Adjectival agreement

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Thursday, February 12, 2009, 14:21
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. 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.
>>> 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.
> 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). /BP 8^)> -- Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "C'est en vain que nos Josués littéraires crient à la langue de s'arrêter; les langues ni le soleil ne s'arrêtent plus. Le jour où elles se *fixent*, c'est qu'elles meurent." (Victor Hugo)


Andreas Johansson <andreasj@...>