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

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 12 01:34:54 EDT 2017


Thanks for the ref, Matthew.

This structure is so common in BE that, until I was in my middle thirties,
I was under the impression that the only thing "non-standard" about it was
the double negative, as in

"Can't anybody stay with her" vs. "Can't nobody stay with her."

Otherwise, I never gave it a second thought, beyond making a point of not
using the double negative - though still applying the inversion - when
speaking to members of the prescribing classes.

On Fri, Jun 9, 2017 at 1:39 AM, Gordon, Matthew J. <GordonMJ at missouri.edu>
wrote:

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



-- 
-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


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