Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Apr 10 16:55:10 UTC 2006

At 12:36 PM -0400 4/10/06, sagehen wrote:
>  >>
>>Interesting.  The oddity of "peasants in the Connecticut River
>>valley" or "Arkansas peasants" is reminiscent of Bolinger's
>>observation that there's something peculiar about "a village in
>>Kansas" as opposed to "a village in
>>Burgundy/Saxony/Silesia/Lancaster/...".  Not totally impossible, but
>>a bit odd.  (Of course we have "Greenwich Village" or "Stonington
>>Village", or "(go into) the village" (for '(into) town'), but how
>>often do we have "a village" as such in North America?  Maybe we
>>don't have peasants because we don't have villages...
>  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>But we *do* have villages in the US.  Up here in northern NY, and  --for
>all I know -- elsewhere in NY,  "village" is the official designation of
>the smallest  jurisdictional unit, as opposed to "towns" which are what are
>called "townships" in many other parts of the country.  This was also true
>in Ohio.  Some, at least, of the north shore suburbs of Chicago were called
>"villages" when I lived there just after WWII, but that may have been an

As noted, I'm not disputing the use of "village" as an official
designation for townships--this is a practice in much of the country,
including Long Island, where I partly grew up.  I'm talking only
about the use of "village" descriptively, in contexts like

"I come from a small (picturesque,...) village in the foothills."
"There a quaint village near here worth visiting."

AHD4 provides the relevant distinction:

1. A small group of dwellings in a rural area, usually ranking in
size between a hamlet and a town.
2. In some U.S. states, an incorporated community smaller in
population than a town.

It's #1 I'm discussing, not #2.


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