Aikman's Texan English

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Sep 25 00:50:15 UTC 2007

FOX announcer and former star Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman,
who did color commentary on yesterday's Giants-Redskins game, always
provides a good number of examples of regional English testifying to
his upbringing and professional career in the Texas/Oklahoma area
(with some time off attending college at UCLA that doesn't seem to
have left a lasting impression on his speech).  Here's one sample
sentence from the fourth quarter of yesterday's broadcast; the use of
post-complementizer "what" is particularly ubiquitous in Aikman's
speech, but the double "had" counterfactual here is nice too. (The
references are to Redskins' defensive back Carlos Rogers and Giants'
receiver Plaxico Burress after the latter escaped the clutches of the
former for a touchdown catch.)

Had Carlos had been looking into the backfield and seen where that
ball was bein' thrown, he had every bit as much of an opportunity to
make a play on that ball as what Burress did.


The American Dialect Society -

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