Possessive form of Y'ALL

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Fri May 25 00:58:44 UTC 2001

Yes, this accords with usage (however much there is) in southern Ohio.  If
you're (yer) from western Virginia, you share essentially the same system
that we do, where /r/ is (at least variably) present and where the
reduction to "y'all" is uncommon.  This is, I believe, notably different
from the system in, say, eastern North Carolina.

But my Alabama student came in with another intuition yesterday:  She said
some people say "your allses" (reduced to "y'allses" down there).  She has
the feeling that whites have borrowed it from blacks, and she said it's
generally used when the following noun is implied but not said, as in "Is
this car y'allses?" as opposed to "Is this y'all's car?"  Does anyone else
share this rule?  (And Natalie, I apologize if this is the nth go-around on
this construction!)

At 08:18 PM 5/24/01 -0400, you wrote:
>As a Virginian of long standing, it seems to me that "y'all's" is the much
>common usage, but I occasionally hear, and use myownself, "your-all's."
>But the
>"your" is pronounced "yer," not "yore" or (heaven forbid!) "yoor." So it
>might be
>better to think of it as "yer-all's."
>    Snake

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

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