cjagoe at TDS.NET
Thu Apr 4 15:16:58 UTC 2002
I am a translator with a question on verb morphology. Im translating a novel
set in Argentina between 1976-1998 from Spanish to English, for a British
publishing house. There will be both a UK and a US edition, although initially
the book is scheduled to appear in the UK. One of the narrators is a
prostitute from the provinces whose story is told in stream-of-consciousness
form, in highly colloquial Argentine Spanish with very little punctuation. I
have tried to reflect this not only lexically but by occasionally using
non-standard verb morphology, such as I says, to reflect the chatty,
uneducated conversational style of the speaker. The publisher has insisted on
standardizing not only most of the language itself but also argues that the use
of I says is inappropriate because it sounds like London Cockney dialect,
which would be inappropriate for a Buenos Aires resident from the 1970s.
Im convinced that I says is not limited to Cockney, and that Ive heard it
used widely both in the UK and the USA, but I have no documentation on that and
no idea of how to go about researching it.
Can anyone tell me about the distribution and usage of I says? Are there any
other similar expressions that might accompany this usage?
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