positive anymore

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Fri May 19 11:01:01 UTC 2006

From:    Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> 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...

I firmly refuse to believe that i have positive anymore, even though i
clearly do. However, i do clearly believe that i have positive any more.

Okay, so it's silly, but my brain refuses to believe that anymore and
any more are the same thing, even in cases where they are. (It's worth
noting that sometimes i write negative anymore as any more, as well.)

Anyway, i wonder if i'm not alone in this, and some people who do have
positive anymore don't parse their own use as using the word anymore,
but as something else.


David Bowie                                         http://pmpkn.net/lx
     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

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

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