Heard on The Judges: new extension?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jul 14 04:10:55 UTC 2009

I just realized that Wilson's example suggests that at least for the
speaker cited, "is sisters with" *isn't* a symmetric relation,
assuming the landlord in question is male--although it's also
possible it's being used sex-neutrally here for a 'female landlord'
who is sisters (and not just siblings) with Jane.


At 9:39 PM -0400 7/13/09, Laurence Horn wrote:
>At 3:49 PM -0400 7/13/09, Wilson Gray wrote:
>>Mid-thirty-ish white female "standard" (i.e obviously not a Southern
>>speaker, but there's no other claim that I can make) speaker:
>>"Well, our real problem is that Jane _is sisters with the landlord_."
>>I've heard _BE friends with NP_ probably from birth. But I would expect
>>"... Jane is the landlord's sister"
>>in this case. The other version is brand-new to me.
>Googling turns up instances of "is sisters/brothers/cousins with",
>although not in huge numbers (a couple thou at most).  I didn't check
>to see whether "is sisters/brothers with" is necessarily symmetric or
>if, say, Shirley McLaine can be "sisters with" Warren Beatty, given
>that she is indeed a sister of Beatty.  I suspect it has to be
>symmetric, although since I've never actually heard it live so I'm
>just guessing; if I'm right, it's stronger than "is (a) sister of".
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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