positive anymore

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIO.EDU
Thu May 18 19:02:03 UTC 2006

And of course positive "anymore" can appear sentence-initially, -medially,
or -finally.  The first question I got was "But what does it MEAN?"

At 02:10 PM 5/18/2006, you wrote:
>At 1:33 PM -0400 5/18/06, Beverly Flanigan wrote:
>>I just talked about this in my Soclx class yesterday and got the most
>>puzzled looks from all but the Midland Ohioans in the class
>>(predictably).  "Needs washed/fixed/done" was also new to most but not
>>puzzling; i.e., outsiders could figure it out.  Positive "anymore"
>>presented a meaning problem which took some time to disambiguate.
>This is something Labov has commented on (in print).  Many speakers
>who have almost certainly come into contact with positive "anymore"
>refuse to believe that it has the meaning it does, despite the fact
>that it essentially (though not exactly) means what negative polarity
>"anymore" does, simply lacking the distributional constraint imposed
>on the latter in the standard dialect, which in turn explains why
>only the positive version can be fronted.  It's also not all that
>different from standard Eng. "nowadays", or would be if the latter
>could also be applied to shorter intervals, as "nowanhours" and such.
>(My locus classicus is "The first few rounds were awful, but I've
>been getting really great cards {%anymore/#nowadays}.")
>I've seen that brief Kemp Malone note and one or two other mentions
>in American Speech volumes from the 1920's or 1930's.
>>  Shades
>>of Trudgill's polylectalism vs. panlectalism argument with C-J Bailey.
>>At 12:44 PM 5/18/2006, you wrote:
>>>Speaking of positive "anymore" (as we were a few weeks ago), did anyone note
>>>the brief note in American Speech in 1931 (6.5, p460) by Kemp Malone? Malone
>>>says that he had never heard of it, but a reader reported it from West
>>>and says it is heard not merely from "shopgirls" but from "teachers."
>>>You can access the article through JSTOR and download it as a pdf file.
>>>I don't think that ADS-L will let me send it as an attached file.
>>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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