Query for Southern(er)s, Southrons, or...
laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 19 01:47:30 UTC 2001
...anyone else in the relevant dialect:
We've spent some sporadic time discussing the construction extant in
parts of the South and Appalachia variously referred to as the
"Personal Dative" (Christian 1991), "Southern American Double Object"
(Dannenberg & Webelhuth 2000), dialectal or bound pronominal (e.g.
Sroda & Mishoe 1995), or ethical dative (various sources). This
involves the appearance immediately after the main verb of an
ordinary objective pronoun (rather than a reflexive) coreferring with
the subject; generally a "real" object must also be present, and it
must be quantified. The verb in question is not normally a
ditransitive. Some sample cites (in each case, coreference between
subject and "dative" is assumed):
I married me a pretty little wife
I'm gonna buy me a shotgun, just as long as I am tall.
I'm gonna catch me a freight train.
Get you a copper kettle, get you a copper coil. [underlying 2d person subject]
He's gonna buy him a pickup.
I seen me a mermaid once.
She wants her some chitlins.
Papa needs him some new boots.
What I like is goats. I jus' like to look at me some goats. [title
of Sroda & Mishoe 1995]
Now the query:
On the assumption that the pronoun in question is not a true object
of the verb but a marker implicating that the action or event in
question represents success/good fortune for the subject, I've been
wondering if the following judgments (from this non-native speaker)
are on- or off-base. (Feel free to replace these with clearer
examples of your own.)
(1) *She fed her some chitlins.
(2)a. *She gave her a big raise. (vs. pandialectally OK: She gave
herself a big raise.)
b. She got her a big raise.
(3)a. *I caught me a cold. [or maybe OK if I was trying to catch a cold?]
b. I caught me a catfish.
(4)a. He shot him two squirrels.
b. *He (got drunk and) shot him two coonhounds (by mistake).
(5)a. He got him a case of beer.
b. *He got him a case of the clap.
Thanks for your time & judgments.
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