Invariant innit, isn ´t it

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sat Sep 9 03:16:04 UTC 2006

On Sep 7, 2006, at 3:07 PM, Jonathon Green wrote:

> I am no linguist and bow, as I should, to Arnold's expertise. If am
> right in thinking that, for instance, that other piece of
> 'meaningless'
> interrogation 'y'know', used without any real sense of asking 'do you
> know' but as an otherwise empty punctuation qualifies similarly as a
> 'discourse particle' then I am sure he's right. And no doubt it is
> indeed an expansion of the function of the London working-class
> 'innit'.
> Nonetheless, and this of course lacks the slightest academic rigor,
> the
> reason that 'innit' has become noticeable and widely commented upon in
> the last few years is that its use does _seem_ meaningless, and
> certainly not interrogatory..

it's noticeable -- to you -- because its meaning HAS CHANGED.  period.

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