The Dozens

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Fri Jul 14 13:33:45 UTC 2006

A problem with that etymology (aside from lack of evidence--but who's sweating the small stuff?) might be that "doesn't" in many dialects of BEV is replaced with "don't" (as in the given sentence, "Mama don't allow no singing")--either by virtue of a different conjugation or (less likely?) via the Southern loss of  /z/ before /n/ (thence, /d at dnt/ > /d at nt/), according to what Rudolph Troike has called "McDavid's Law" (explaining such pronunciations as "bidness" and "cudn" [for "cousin"]).  One reason (of several) why the "McDavid's Law" explanation is less probable:  BEV does seem to retain the widespread (black and white) "dasn't" as the contraction of "dare not" and "dares not" (by that /r/ > /z/ replacement that Ron B. explained recently).


---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 19:24:03 -0400
>From: sagehen <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM>
>Subject: Re: The Dozens

> My ignorant WAG:  Might it have started life as "doesn't?"  We have our collections of "don'ts" (and then there's "Mamma don't allow no singin' 'round here" &c...).

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