South Dakotan 'yet'

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Thu Jan 11 18:14:45 UTC 2001

At 11:35 AM 1/11/01 +0800, you wrote:
>At 3:40 PM +0000 1/11/01, Lynne Murphy wrote:
>>The below is from a transplanted Texan friend of mine in Sioux Falls.  AHD4
>>doesn't cover this 'yet'--can anyone else tell me anything about it?
>>---------- Forwarded Message ----------
>>Date: Thursday, January 11, 2001 9:29 am -0600
>>From: Kevin Cole <Kevin.Cole at>
>>By the
>>way, people up here often attach "yet" to end of sentences. For
>>instance, "I need to go to the bank yet," "Is that a bottle of gin yet?"
>>"Let's eat dinner at eight yet." The mood of the verb does not
>>---------- End Forwarded Message ----------
>funny; this is different from (but I suspect related to) a
>well-established regional use of "yet" as 'still' in Wisconsin and
>adjacent areas (esp. in areas with strong German substrate influence)
>that is ALSO unmentioned in AHD4.*  We used to include
>Is there turkey yet?
>on our class dialect questionnaires to elicit this sense:  the
>utterer is someone who arrives late at the Thanskgiving table hoping
>some turkey remained, not (as in the Northeast) someone who arrives
>early hoping to start stuffing him/herself.  The first of the South
>Dakotan "yet"s is consistent with this, but the latter two aren't.
>(I'm not sure WHAT they are:  if "Is that a bottle of gin yet?" the
>drunkard's equivalent to "Is it soup yet?", uttered plaintively while
>staring at a bottle of Poland Spring, then it's just the AHD4's sense
>1 or 2, but I suspect something else was intended.)
>*I know there's an AHD4 sense of "yet" given as 'still more', used
>with comparatives, but that's distinct (yet again related to) the
>'still' sense I'm describing.  I'd cite DARE, but I fear it will be a
>while (yet) before we hit the Y's.  Any data on the distribution,

And then there's the (apparently) redundant form "still yet," used along
the Ohio River.  A student of mine who uses it natively elicited responses
in her hometown of Portsmouth (or "Porchmouth"), Ohio to this
sentence:  "He still yet owns that old car."  Maximum responses in three
categories ranged from 20% personal use to 63% denial of personal use but
recognition of others' use of it to 90% non-recognition--the last by
teenagers.  So it's disappearing in this area (I've only heard it a couple
of times in Athens).  Has anyone else heard it, and where?

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

More information about the Ads-l mailing list