Syntactic change?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Apr 10 01:59:06 UTC 2006

At 9:36 PM -0400 4/9/06, Wilson Gray wrote:
>A headline from the local broadsheet:
>a) "It's no ball figuring out what is a strike"
>which can (or could) be opposed to:
>b) "It's no ball figuring out what a strike is"
>My memory is probably very faulty, but didn't
>Labov once write that embedded questions of
>type (a) were a peculiarity of BE or other non-
>standard dialects, whereas those of type (b)
>are standard?
Labov may well have.  This contrast was also discussed by George
Lakoff and cited in a paper by Haj Ross appearing in Syntax and
Semantics 3: Speech Acts, ed. by Peter Cole and Jerry Morgan.  I
think the paper was called "Where to do things with words", but I
don't have it on me at the moment.  Lakoff was citing facts in his
own non-standard dialect of Bayonne, NJ.


The American Dialect Society -

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