Dueling dialects

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Wed Jul 29 12:24:51 UTC 2009

On Jul 28, 2009, at 10:30 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> The neighbour's way [of using "this"/"next"] may be quite
> widespread, among all ethnic groups.
> My wife, of Ukrainian-Catholic extraction from NE Pennsylvania,
> likewise sees nothing strange about the neighbour's turn of phrase.

this topic comes up here every so often.  here's what i said about it
on 22 August 2002:
lynne murphy:
  >I'm not altogether convinced this is a dialectal feature--I have
the same problems in the States. I think the this/next distinction is
almost idiosyncratic.<
fillmore has a good discussion of this/next/last in his Lectures o[n]
Deixis. (i'm away from my library, so i can't give you the exact
reference.) while there might be some regional/class dimension to the
variation, a lot of it is clearly idiosyncratic/individual/
idiolectal; it's not hard to find neighbors, lifelong friends, etc.
with conflicting usages.

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

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