[Ads-l] Heard: positive _anymore_ south of Saint Louis

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Feb 21 21:46:34 EST 2017

I’m not sure this instance counts as a full-fledged positive “anymore”, given the possible licensing by “rare”.  For me (and I’m a NYC non-pos “anymore" speaker) this sounds pretty good, as opposed to “Conversational Spanish is very common anymore”, which only works as a pos-“anymore” instance.  Similarly,

Gas sold for under $2.50/gallon is relatively common anymore.  [only good for pos-“anymore” speakers, e.g. out for me]
Milk sold for under $2.50/gallon is relatively rare anymore.         [much more widely acceptable, e.g. fine for me]

“Rare” (like “rarely”) does a pretty good job licensing negative polarity items.  One example (with relatively strict polarity item “for long”):

Small reptiles and rodents burrow or slide below the surface or cling to the shaded side of an outcropping. Movement is slow to preserve energy, 
and it is a rare animal which can or will defy the sun for long.
           (John Steinbeck (1961), Travels with Charley In Search of America, p. 164)


> On Feb 18, 2017, at 7:29 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Speaker from Old Mines/La Vielle Mine, MO, ca. 65 mi. south of StL:
> "Conversational French is very rare, _anymore_."
> The speaker is discussing Missouri French, a.k.a. Paw-Paw, the
> nearly-extinct - perhaps ten fluent speakers left - variety of French
> formerly widely spoken in south-eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois,
> the former _Pays des Illinois_, which once stretched from Vincennes,
> Indiana, to the Ozarks. (StL was once _Saint-Louis des Illinois_.)
> Carrière, J. -M. (1939). "Creole Dialect of Missouri". American Speech.
> Duke University Press. 12 (6): 502–503. JSTOR 451217.
>> -Wilson
> -----
> 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 - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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