Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Sun Jul 11 12:07:23 UTC 2004

Could the spellings we find historically and the 
pronunciations which actually occur be at odds 

For "He upped and died,"


is my ordinary pronunciation (where ^ is wedge 
and ? is a glottal stop, the latter perhaps 
coarticularted with the [p]). I cannot detect any 
[t] realization of the preterit here since the 
[?] would have eat it up.

On the other hand "He ups and dies,"

is less likely to be reduced to


because the consonant cluster reduction which 
takes place in /pt/ is less likely in /ps/, since 
/p/ and /s/ do not share the feature [+stop].

Of course, we can never be sure when phonology 
does not turn around and bite us in the butt so 
that our underlying representations change (as 
larry has so elegantly shown us recently with our 
spitting images).


>On another list, we have been discussing these variants:
>then he up and died
>then he upped and died
>Someone else wrote the latter. I had never heard/seen that, and I
>commented. Clearly, individuals vary. "Upped" appears to be older. What is
>really interesting is that I would expect inflection in, say, the
>historical present, as in narratives, thus:
>then he ups and dies
>then he up and dies.
>But I am startled by it in the past. The OED has 16th c. citations with
>died and also other verbs (fled, tupped) and also narrative instances in
>this entry for up as a v:
>b. colloq. and dial. To start up, come forward, begin abruptly or
>to say or do something. Usu. followed by and. Cf. UP adv.1 33.
>ÊÊ(a) 1831 S. LOVER Leg. 82 The bishop ups and he tells him that he must
>mend his manners. 1865 DICKENS Mut. Fr. IV. xiii, Then we both of us ups
>and says, that minute, ÔProve so!Õ 1867- in general dialect use (Eng.
>Dial. Dict.). 1879 R. BROWNING Ned Bratts 125 She ups with such a face,
>Heart sunk inside me: ÔWell, pad on my prate-apace!Õ
>ÊÊ(b) 1883 STEVENSON Treas. Isl. xxix, And you have the Davy Jones's
>insolence to up and stand for cap'n over me! 1884 ÔMARK TWAINÕ Huck. Finn
>xxv, All of a sudden the doctor ups and turns on them. He says: [etc.].
>1898 ÔH. S. MERRIMANÕ Roden's Corner xxvii, A gesture that
>served..to..invite the Frenchman to up and smite him. 1935 E. E. CUMMINGS
>Let. 31 Jan. (1969) 135 And he ups and hands Am [Eimi] such a boost as
>would knock Karl Marx's whiskers out of Benjamin G. Woozeythought's
>cabinet d'aisance. 1958 ÔA. GILBERTÕ Death against Clock 81 So you upped
>and fled. 1961 O. NASH Coll. Verse 33 One of these days not too remote
>I'll probably up and cut your throat. 1973 Black World Jan. 62/1 It did no
>good. I upped and died. 1979 J. RATHBONE Joseph I. i. 20 As soon as we
>could we upped and fled.
>What do you say? Expect to hear? (Spellcheck did not object to upped.)

More information about the Ads-l mailing list