Dialect aspects (wa: Sinthrax=> Lingu Frakas...
|From:||Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Monday, May 15, 2000, 18:21|
At 5:11 pm -0400 14/5/00, Nik Taylor wrote:
>Raymond Brown wrote:
>> I sees the dentist tomorrow. ['sees' is not a typo]
>-s is used for all persons?
Yes - not only in the "do" dialects. It's a common feature in colloquial
English along the southern coastal counties. It was the English I was
accustomed to in rural Sussex in my childhood.
>> I seen the dentist last week. ['saw' is not used]
>That's fairly common around here too, at least for the less educated. A
>"common mistake", as the grammarians like to call it. :-)
>> I do see the doctor every day.
>> I did see the doctor every day. [but I don't any more]
>Cool. So how do they make questions out of those forms?
>I sees the dentist tomorrow --> Does I see ...??
>I seen the dentist --> ?
>I did see the doctor --> Did I see ...??
Not 'Does I see...'; these dialects make a distinction in the simple
present tense between the full verb 'I does', 'you does', 'he does' etc.,
and the habitual auxiliary 'I do', 'you do', 'he do'.
AFAIK the distinction between these two aspeects is lost in the
interrogative forms, but context helps, e.g.
When d'you see the dentist? - must be aorist.
D'you see the doctor every day? - must be habitual.
And yes-no questions often keep the affirmative order with a tag added, e.g.
You sees the dentist tomoorow, don't you?
You sees the dentist tomorrow, right?
Or in S.E. Wales -
You sees the dentist tomorrow, isn't it?
- where "isn't it" is used as an invariable tag rather like French
"n'est-ce pas" :)
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]