Fwd: language attitudes

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Mon Jan 31 23:18:39 UTC 2000


Let me assure you that the verb form

I got                   we got
you got                 y'all got
he,she,it got(s)        they got

and, in some varieties, with do support (do you got?) is neither exlusively
AAVE nor limited to children.


>Thanks for the clarification.  I've just added a couple more comments:
>At 10:34 AM 1/31/00 +0000, you wrote:
>>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).
>My point here was simply that I've never heard "do got" in the declarative
>except as negative, and then only with negative concord (don't got none),
>as in AAVE.  In the interrogative, it occurs in the tape transcript of
>little black kids in DC, taped by Bengt Lowman (sp?) in the '60s (and
>excerpted in _Language Files_); one kid asks, "Do you got a twenty dollar
>coat?"  Whether this might also be said by adults, I'm not sure.
>>}>(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.
>Yes, I'm sure you're right; I think my student was just being defensive
>about her motherland!
>>}>> >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
>>         --Death

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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