[Ads-l] Heard, spoken by a white person

Gordon, Matthew J. GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Fri Jun 9 01:39:53 EDT 2017


Yes, this structure is used in some white dialects, and there are interesting cross-dialect differences in terms of what's allowable. The Yale Grammatical Diversity Project has a good overview:
http://ygdp.yale.edu/phenomena/negative-inversion

Matt Gordon

________________________________________
From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Wilson Gray [hwgray at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Thursday, June 8, 2017 2:41 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Heard, spoken by a white person

"Momma don't know, Daddy don't know, _don't *nobody* know_ what's going on!"

Said by a rural Floridian talking to one of his cousins, on FBI Files on
the Justice Network.

Been trying to find out whether white people used that syntactic structure
since 1973, when I asked Corky Feagin about it, at the Michigan LSA Summer
Institute.

--
-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

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


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