"early" ex. of initial "myself"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 14 05:43:40 UTC 2007

I thought that I was being clear, but, apparently, I was not. In BE,
you ordinarily say things like, "_Me myself I_ don't believe that, no
kind of way." You don't usually say either "_Me_ I don't ..." or
"_Myself_ I don't ..." You can also say things like, "I don't believe
that no kind of way, me myself," but it's not particularly common. I
once dated a (black) woman, Anglo-Saxon of name, from the Cajun
Capital of America in Louisiana - the name escapes me - who
occasionally said things like, "I don't believe that, no kind of way,
me." But she considered this kind of postpositional echoing to be a
Louisiana yokelism that she studiously avoided, unless she'd had more
than a couple of drinks and was not able to take her usual care in
monitoring her speech. She's the only black person that I've heard
heard use this turn of phrase, whether from Louisiana, Haiti, Belize,
Surinam, etc.

I don't see that there's anything to be replied to, given that the
original was positioned <har! har!> as little more than an idle
comment of relatively trivial interest.


On 5/3/07, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "early" ex. of initial "myself"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Of course you're right, Arnold. I replied to Wilson's post because it was the handiest one in the thread.   Not that I need any excuse to reply to Wilson.
>   JL
>   "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
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> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: "Arnold M. Zwicky"
> Subject: Re: "early" ex. of initial "myself"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On May 3, 2007, at 9:04 AM, Jon Lighter wrote:
> > Earlier still:
> >
> > 1875 J. A. Lawson _Wanderings in the Interior of New Guinea_
> > (London: Chapman & Hall)52: Myself and Danang were not so fortunate...
> this are excellent examples, but they're not examples of the sentence-
> initial "attitude particle" use that wilson and i were (most
> recently) talking about. we were talking about things like:
> Me, I wouldn't ever go there.
> Myself, I wouldn't ever go there.
> Me myself, I wouldn't ever go there.
> here we get sentences that begin with "myself", but they're nothing
> at all like your examples or the ones we talked about earlier, which
> all had coordinate subjects with "myself" as the first conjunct.
> > ... Just why the use of initial _myself_ should be so vilified is
> > far from clear, unless it stem (note rare and classy subjunctive)
> > from a pious belief that _myself_ "can only be emphatic or
> > reflexive, G-dd-mi-t !"
> no doubt. in both of these types, "myself" is anaphoric, with an
> antecedent within its clause. the Cambridge Grammar of the English
> Language calls these "basic reflexives" -- and then has a lengthy
> discussion of "override reflexives" of several different types.
> but there's a terminological problem here. in line with CGEL, and
> essentially all of the technical literature, i use the term
> "reflexive" to refer to a class of pronouns (of the form Xself or
> Xselves). above, you're using the term to refer to a *use* of these
> pronouns, and that's just confusing. at the very least, we need to
> distinguish anaphoric reflexives from others; the coordinate-subject
> examples we've been looking at are in the "other" category.
> i'm not sure where the dogma came from that reflexives have to be
> anaphoric (in some handbooks, anaphoric with an antecedent in the
> same clause). it might be just another case of taking the label to
> be a definition: "reflexive" means 'bending back on', so there has to
> be an antecedent. that's just silly, but i've seen worse. and
> there's no justification, historically or in current usage, for
> insisting that reflexives must always be (same-clause) anaphoric.
> arnold
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