Aikman's Texan English

Dennis Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Tue Sep 25 14:49:09 UTC 2007


Isn't this counterfactual double had different from the double
perfects referenced in most of this lit? There is no double perfect
in the standard "Had I had enough good sense back in 19xx---," where
the second had is MV.


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>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
>Subject:      Re: Aikman's Texan English
>On Sep 25, 2007, at 7:14 AM, Larry Horn wrote:
>>  At 10:01 AM -0400 9/25/07, Dennis Preston wrote:
>>>   ... and I also
>>>  suspect a nonsystematic error
>>>  for the double "had";
>>  Can we be sure it's an error, and not simply a variant?
>double perfects of several sorts are very well attested, and
>commentators have been complaining about them since the 19th
>century.  there's an entry in MWDEU; look under "plupluperfect".  one
>class of cases even gets a mention in CGEL (p. 151), labeled as non-
>standard; this is "had ... have" marking "modal remoteness".
>the most common examples are of "had have" and "have had", but you
>can find a considerable number of relevant "had had" examples by
>googling on "had had been".
>The American Dialect Society -

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Morrill Hall 15-C
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48864 USA

The American Dialect Society -

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