I know it

Salikoko Mufwene mufw at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Sun Jun 10 10:12:43 UTC 2001

Dear Dieter:

     We certainly can. We can even arrange to eat dinner together. Please
provide me your hotel information when you have it.



At 04:21 AM 6/10/2001 -0400, you wrote:
>On Sat, 9 Jun 2001, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
> > I've been wondering for some time if there's been a change in the
> > way questions are answered.
> >
> > A: Did you know that there is a leap day in the year 2000?
> > B: Yes, I know it/that.
> >
> > To me, only "that" is correct in this context, but I hear older
> > speakers use "it."
> >
> > To me, "I know it" has a slightly different intonation and means "I
> > agree with you" or "I know what you're talking about."
> >
> > Has anyone else noticed this?
>I remember when I was a child noticing the "I know it" construction in
>at least one book and being very puzzled by it (children's fiction -- I'm
>fairly certain it was one of the Judy Blume books, possibly _Tales
>of a Fourth Grade Nothing_).  I was puzzled because, for me, it would have
>to be "I know that", and it was difficult for me to imagine someone saying
>"I know it" instead.
>I now recognize the distinction you give, though I'm not sure I'd use
>that modern "I know it" myself; this is not, however, how "I
>know it" was used in the Blume book or whatever it was.

Salikoko S. Mufwene                   s-mufwene at uchicago.edu
University of Chicago        773-702-8531; FAX 773-834-0924
Department of Linguistics
1010 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
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