antedating of "y'all"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Mar 7 00:11:50 UTC 2013

On Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 4:19 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at> wrote:
> The industrious and hyper-skilled
> Barry Popik also examined this question and discovered some even
> earlier impressive evidence. Here is a link for y'all

"_The letter r is ... rolled ... when used as a substitute for th…

For instance, the following is a fair representation of the peculiarities cited:

The sentence, 'It was curious, he said, he wanted to go into the other
army,' would sound: ' ‘Twuz cu-yus, he say, he wan’(t) (to) go

_inturr_ ["in(to) ‘turr" in the original. Modified on the basis of my
own sprachgefuehl. Cf. the source cited below.]

ah-my.' " [I like the fact that the author, at least IMO, is trying to
represent the lengthening of the vowel induced by the "dropping" -
better:      "vocalization" of the /r/, its features replaced by the
relevant features of the preceding vowel, in this case? - of the r and
not merely only the "loss" of the r.]

If anyone cares, this phenomenon is more than amply represented in the
speech of the lead rapper of the Saint Louis hip-hop group, Anonymous.
Cf. the the first track of the group's only CD, Get Crack'n,


The link is to the site, iTunes Preview. AFAIK, it's not necessary for
Windows-users to have iTunes installed in order to play the sample. Of


BTW, _cu-yus_, assuming [cu:jəs], "curious" and _chimley_ "chimney"
are perfectly natural in today's BE. Obama prolly be usin 'em, whin he
be chillin wit his ole lady n da chirren in da crib.

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.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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