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Re: YASGT: Adjectival agreement (was: Feminization of plurals?)

From:Andreas Johansson <andreasj@...>
Date:Thursday, February 12, 2009, 11:44
On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 11:54 AM, Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...> wrote:
> Andreas Johansson wrote: >> >> On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 8:53 PM, Benct Philip Jonsson >> <bpj@...> wrote: >>> >>> On 2009-02-11 Andreas Johansson wrote: >>>> >>>> (In speech, you'll find people who have -a >>>> everywhere, ones who have -e everywhere, ones that >>>> make the distinction much as in the written standard >>>> (I do), and ones who draw some other distinction.) >>>> >>> Not in Western and Southern Sweden, where the distinction is still >>> rigorously maintained. We cringe >>> when people from "up country" say things like _den >>> stora mannen_! >> >> Er? Upholding the distinction was one of the >> possibilities I listed. > > Sorry, write it down to ¡0 pm fatigue! > > I was actually mostly reacting to what you said > just before: > >>>> Now, I wouldn't be surprised if this disappears from the >>>> written standard soon enough, but it's still mostly >>>> adhered to in writing. > > I can't see that happen for two reasons: > > 1) About ¡/3 or more of the population uphold > the distinction, and the rest can't agree on > how to drop it (-a or -e).
Surely, among those who do drop the distinction, -a everywhere is far and away the more common?
> 2) The ability to uphold the distinction in writing > is a strong educatedness shibboleth.
That's true, but shibboleths don't necessarily last forever. 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!).
> By comparison I recently read in "Språktidningen" > that in a few decades _dom_ as a single form > corresponding to _de_ and _dem_ has actually > receded. Perhaps partly due to the fact that there > is a noun _dom_ which is pronounced differently, > but mostly due to the fact that this is an > educatedness shibboleth of exactly the same > kind as the adjectival agreement thing.
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.
> 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. [snip] -- Andreas Johansson Why can't you be a non-conformist just like everybody else?


Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>YASGT: Adjectival agreement