Aren't/arn't Alert (?): A new(?) or regional(?) negative usage
mlee303 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Jul 17 07:55:23 UTC 2001
Sojourner Truth, in her 1852 speech in Akron, Ohio, at a women's
rights convention asked, as she ripped open her dress to expose her
breasts, "And arn't I a woman?"
--- Rudolph C Troike <rtroike at U.ARIZONA.EDU> wrote:
> I just picked up this inquiry on my e-mail from U Penn, and thought
> pass it along to see if anyone has any further enlightenment.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 15:09:25 -0400
> From: sela at babel.ling.upenn.edu
> To: penguists at babel.ling.upenn.edu
> Subject: interesting use of "don't"
> I'm wondering if anyone out there can shed some light on the
> I am curious about the phrase "So don't I" as a way to respond in
> positive to a statement. I have a feeling it may be acceptable
> regionally (New England). To give an example of its use:
> 1 A: I really like cherry flavoured yogurt.
> B: Oh, so don't I. (meaning I like it too.)
> C: So doesn't Mary.
> *B: Oh, so do I not. (or any formation of the phrase without the
> contracted form.)
> 1 makes perfect sense to me, I have even caught myself using it.
> also makes sense to the friends I've asked from my hometown in
> Island. My British boyfriend thinks it makes no sense at all.
> You can also use the negative contraction in a positive response
> like this:
> A: I'm running in the roadrace tomorrow.
> B: Really? So aren't I.(meaning so am I)
> where the verb doesn't agree with I (probably because it only
> works with
> the contracted form and there isn't a contracted form of 'am not'
> is acceptable to me)
> any thoughts as to why this can be?
> Suzanne LaBelle
Margaret G. Lee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor - English and Linguistics
& University Editor
Department of English
Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668
e-mail: mlee303 at yahoo.com or margaret.lee at hamptonu.edu
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