South Dakotan 'yet'

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jan 17 06:00:58 UTC 2001

>Larry replies to my speculation:
>>I suspect this goes back to the other sense of "yet", in which the
>>(putative) present is a continuation of a past state rather than the
>>inception of an expected future state:
>>       His monument is standing yet = His monument is still standing.
>>I can read Larry's example in this way more easily if I move "yet" left:
>>       Is there yet turkey?
>>Of course this isn't scholarly: we'd need to check earlier attested uses.
>>But maybe someone can do that. So this isn't scholarly yet. (Sorry.)
>I think they're at least slightly different.  I can get Mark's
>example but only if I stress the "yet".  The Wisconsinite "yet" was
>unstressed and lacks the rhetorical effect of the stressed "yet" =
>'still' examples ("I remember it yet", "They can win it yet").  For
>those of us not in the relevant dialect group, the unstressed ("Is
>there turkey yet?") struck us as really deviant.
>I agree that they're different in prosody, and the unstressed construction
>being asked about sounds bizarre to me too. I'm not saying they're the
>same; I'm speculating about a historical precedent and origin, wondering
>whether this construction *could have arisen from* a use of "yet"
>= 'still'.
>-- Mark

Maybe so, but if there's influence from German "nokh" and Yiddish
"noch" in the former (unstressed) 'still'-type of "yet", it's not
simply an extension of meaning/use.


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