regional "most the CN"?

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 18 03:37:24 UTC 2009

When I say "most the books," it has the same metrical structure as
"most of the books."  Given the ease with which "of" reduces, a single
strong syllable with a heavy coda would be the same as the
corresponding trochee as in /'most@/, so maybe the phenomenon is
simply one of metrical variance that's perceived as a grammatical


On Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 4:33 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: regional "most the CN"?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 12/15/2009 04:18 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>At 12/15/2009 04:07 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>>At 4:01 PM -0500 12/15/09, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>>>At 12/15/2009 03:19 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>>>>One of our graduate students, from Cleveland, reports that he has
>>>>>said "most the books" (= 'most of the books') all his life, and it
>>>>>shows up with 1.9 raw g-hits.  Googling also pulls up "some the
>>>>>books" (2.9 million) and "many the books", although Mike (from
>>>>>Cleveland) doesn't find those possible, only "most".
>>>>In one construction, I might utter "many the books have I read"
>>>is this paraphrasable by "Many are the books I read" rather than
>>>"many of the books I read..."?
>>Paraphrasable, for me, by both
>>"Many are the books I have read"
>>"Many of the books I have read..."
>>although if pressed I might respond that the first two emphasize the
>>"many", while "many of ..." doesn't.
>>("Have" simply to identify the past action, same as in "many the
>>books have I read".)
> I have, elsewhere and previously, written "Funeral processions were
> conducted in accordance with elaborate customs and conventions; many
> were the attendees for prominent persons."  To stress the "many".
> Joel
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