Heard on The Judges (embedded question)

Dennis Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Mon Apr 7 19:42:33 UTC 2008


Retention of Q-order in embedded Qs is so common that I find nothing
extreme about this. What makes it so to you?

There are plenty of speakers who do it with WH but not yes-no (e.g.,
"I don't know did they say that I had a....."), and those seem more
distanced from the standard form at least to me.


>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>Subject:      Heard on The Judges (embedded question)
>"Why would they [your neighbors] say that you had had a fight with
>your boyfriend?"
>Latin-African-American [Sanchez] female native-BE-speaker defendant:
>"I don't know _why would they say that I had had a fight with my boyfriend_."
>I know that this is not a heretofore-unknown phenomenon. It's just
>that this example struck me as a bit extreme.
>All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
>come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>  -Sam'l Clemens
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Morrill Hall 15-C
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48864 USA

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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