Fwd: druthers

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Aug 6 02:40:14 UTC 1999

>I would rather>I'd rather>I'd ruther>I druther fight than switch.  More
>commonly found in "If I had my druthers."  Probably obsolescent in most
>urban dialects of English--as is "in my stead" and similar expressions such
>as the distinction between bring and fetch or that and yon.

Well, yes; that would be the "reanalysis" to which I was referring. But the
questions posed were:
--what sort of attestation do we have (date and place of earliest cites)?
--what evidence we have for intermediate stages? (Do we ever find "I druther"?)
--what prompted the switch to the noun, or as the original querier put it,
the "change from gapped clause to declinable noun", i.e. a count noun
capable of pluralization?

I'm wondering if there was perhaps a self-conscious adaptation here, à la
"monokini" and similar waggish pseudo-naive reanalyses.


>----- Original Message -----
>From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>Sent: Thursday, August 05, 1999 8:44 AM
>Subject: Fwd: druthers
>> Since Mark, our designated forwarder of relevant Linguist List queries,
>> hasn't gotten around to it yet, I thought I'd step in and forward this
>> The reanalysis of [I'd rather]>[druther(s)] is the sort of thing that
>> must be intermediate evidence for, and early cites would no doubt be of
>> interest.
>> Replies, as usual, should go to the querier as well as (optionally) to us.
>> >
>> >LINGUIST List:  Vol-10-1155. Mon Aug 2 1999. ISSN: 1068-4875.
>> >
>> >Subject: 10.1155, Qs: Descriptive Grammars, druthers, Verbs/Serbian
>> >...
>> >-------------------------------- Message
>2 -------------------------------
>> >
>> >Date:  Sun, 1 Aug 1999 14:55:51 GMT
>> >From:  alex at compapp.dcu.ie (Alex Monaghan CA)
>> >Subject:  druthers
>> >
>> >does anyone have an account of how "i would rather" formed "druthers" in
>> >english? or is there a different derivation? the change from gapped
>clause to
>> >declinable noun seems unusual to say the least.
>> >
>> >comments welcome,
>> >                       alex.
>> >
>> >...
>> >LINGUIST List: Vol-10-1155
>> >

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