hanging whiches revisited (thanks to DARE, via Joan)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jun 16 16:09:38 UTC 2014

Silly and neglectful me.  Thanks to a kind message from Joan Houston Hall, I realize that I should of course have checked DARE, where I'd have found (at http://www.daredictionary.com/view/dare/ID_00062407) examples going back to the mid-19th c. of what I'm thinking of as "hanging whiches", a.k.a. "which" as a conjunction (which I unsuccessfully tried in the OED), , including cases featuring resumptive pronouns.  Most of the cites are Southern or Appalachian, so maybe it's just been spreading regionally.  (Still more often, as JL noted earlier, to pop up in Tennessee than NYC, which the latter is now less unlikely than it used to be even if most folks disapprove of "which"-hangin in these parts.)

some "hanging whiches"

1845 Hooper Advent. Simon Suggs 147 AL, I rolled up my shirt sleeves—which it was a tolluble warm day and my koat was off—and ses I, you see that hoss yonder?
1851 Burke Polly Peablossom 100 GA, You know how I fit for you, in that last run you had ’long er Jim Smith, what like to a beat you for sheriff, which he would a done it, if it hadn’t been for yer Uncle Josey’s influence.
1897 Lewis Wolfville 29 AZ, So the girl . . , which her name is Susan, puts on her shaker an’ goes stampedin’ off.
1975 Foxfire 3 38 nGA, This one time I was gonna lay down there and wait till daylight ’cause I was going over in a pretty rough place (which I didn’t care for the rough woods nor nothing).
1976 Wolfram–Christian Appalachian Speech 121, I remember the doctor comin’ and deliverin’ the baby which we were in the other room.
2001 DARE File nwTX, Singin’ exactly like on the radio, which it sucks.
2001 DARE File NM, When I lived over on A street last winter which I can see the house from here.

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

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