[Ads-l] Yale Grammatical Diversity Project - Slate

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jun 30 03:50:01 UTC 2015

> On Jun 29, 2015, at 11:22 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 8:43 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
>> "nascent"
> Actually, that struck me as a hip way to put it, abstracting away from the
> e.g.-ed group. Consider the that bit of Facebookery that I posted:
> "More transgender representation and direct voices in this matter _is_
> critical."
> The government of the number of the verb according as the number of the
> number of the nearest nominal preceding the verb instead of according as
> the number of the subject NP is certainly a feature of contemporary English
> that's a-borning.
> You see it everywhere.
> On the other hand, the blurb does seem to say that a hearer may base his
> judgment of the worth of a variety of speech on his emotional response to
> its, e.g. Appalachian speakers and then it proceeds to say that it's not
> the speakers, but their speech, full of patterns unfamiliar to the hearer,
> which is the source of problems. Or is it the case that the blurb is saying
> that the emotional response to the speakers is triggered by their apparent
> misuse of the language and not by their non-standard personal aspect. Or
> something.

Well, it shouldn't have said that; the idea is that we consider unfamiliar patterns either quaint (the British "They didn't leave but they should have done") or reprehensible and "illiterate" (black speakers, Appalachian/southern white speakers) depending on our attitude toward the social group, not on our attitude toward the specific construction, but I suppose it's not surprising if it didn't come out that way.  

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list