Query for Southern(er)s, Southrons, or...
laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 19 05:10:57 UTC 2001
(1) *She fed her some chitlins.
(2)a. *She gave her a big raise. (vs. pandialectally OK: She gave
herself a big raise.)
b. She got her a big raise.
(3)a. *I caught me a cold. [or maybe OK if I was trying to catch a cold?]
b. I caught me a catfish.
(4)a. He shot him two squirrels.
b. *He (got drunk and) shot him two coonhounds (by mistake).
(5)a. He got him a case of beer.
b. *He got him a case of the clap.
At 12:49 PM -0500 12/19/01, Ellen Johnson wrote:
>I guess that's me...
>I think you may be onto something here. In general, I agree with the
>judgments, however, 1 and 2a are much less acceptable to me than 3a, 4b,
Great; the prediction would be that the former two are out on
grammatical grounds, while the latter ones are out pragmatically.
>The verb seems to be the culprit, i.e. 1b "She ate her some
>chitlins" would be fine, even for someone for whom eating chitlins is
>not particularly indicative of good fortune.
well, in this case, it would be successful fulfillment of an
intention rather than necessarily good fortune. The paraphrase for
non-Southern speakers might be "managed to..." The difference
between "feed" and "eat" would be that "feed" must have an (indirect)
object (*I fed some chitlins), and the "me" here doesn't count as an
At 11:57 AM -0600 12/19/01, Donald M Lance wrote:
>All these starred items could (as you imply in 3a) be possible if surrounded
>by verbal context that would set them up as 'her' being equivalent to
>'herself'. Even so, the result is irony, particularly in 5b. The syntactic
>violation marks the irony even without suprasegmental or kinesic signaling.
>The culture would call for deadpan kinesics for irony anyway.
Right. Again, "manage to" would work the same way: "He managed to
get a case of the clap (to fall down the stairs, to get himself
shot,...)" implies that he was trying to do so.
Thanks to both of you for the help.
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