syntactic variation in NYCE

Michael Newman michael.newman at QC.CUNY.EDU
Sun Jan 15 08:14:09 UTC 2012

Hi all,

I'm wondering if anyone knows of work documentation or analysis of the non-standard counterfactual conditional pattern woulda …woulda (alternatively would've …would've) as in "I woulda gone if I woulda known"  "I wouldn't have murdered him if he wouldn't have eaten my pizza"

in New York City English these are the normal way counter-factuality is expressed. But I only have my own anecdotal experience encountering them. A google scholar search came up pretty empty.

These and interrogative forms in indirect questions (covered ages ago by Ron Butters) are about the main non-standard structures that strike me as characteristic of White versions of NYCE besides non-standard forms found everywhere (e.g., ain't, double negatives). But I'm eager to hear of any others.

I did here a claim that NYers barely use present perfect. However, I have no evidence to this effect.

Michael Newman
Associate Professor of Linguistics
Queens College/CUNY
michael.newman at

The American Dialect Society -

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