Fwd: language attitudes

Aaron E. Drews aaron at LING.ED.AC.UK
Mon Jan 31 10:34:42 UTC 2000

On Sun, 30 Jan 2000, Beverly Flanigan wrote:

}Since we're talking about British vs. American English again, I'd like to
}return to the topic of grammar and DO-aux vs. 'got' in BritEng, raised by
}Nancy Elliott and responded to by Aaron Drews.  I asked my graduate student
}from London (raised very prescriptively and educated in private schools),
}and here's part of our exchange (snipping out the school names issue, which
}was resolved satisfactorily and confirmed by Lorraine).  In a nutshell, she
}agrees that DO is used in BritEng (as we've known since Shakespeare) but is
}(perhaps) less common than fronted HAVE; but HAVE GOT is also common and
}not pejorative:

"have" + "got" strikes me a a common (widespread, as opposed to lower
class :-) ) usage.
Raised "have" - I seldom hear it here.  Still aceeptable, though
"do" + "got" - This is what would be classified as an Americanism.  I
don't think I've ever heard that here.  Then again, as Beverly Flanigan
points out, it may be American, but it's not "standard" (whatever a
standard is).

}>(By the way, I don't like the dig at the 'colonialist'
}>attitudes - slightly too aggressive perhaps?) OK,

Most of the time, the comments are simply "silly Americans".  I have lost
count how many times I've heard that.  But I have also heard, and have had
directed towards me, very disdaining comments about colonial speech.
Saying I'm a linguist doesn't help (nor does the fact that I'm in the
English Language department).  However, such comments are very rare.

}>> >X-Authentication-warning: babel.ling.ed.ac.uk:
}>> aaron owned process doing -bs

Well, it seems that the server on my end has formed an opinion. :-)


Aaron E. Drews                               The University of Edinburgh
aaron at ling.ed.ac.uk                  Departments of English Language and
http://www.ling.ed.ac.uk/~aaron       Theoretical & Applied  Linguistics


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