Terms for familys; was Re: Heard on The Judges

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Sun Jan 27 18:30:23 UTC 2008

My Louisville-area usage is definitely X(=name)+[nIm]; schwa is
impossible (and, of course, the /I/ simply reflects the Standard
English merger of /e/ and /I/ before nasals).


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>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Barbara Need <nee1 at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU>
>Subject:      Terms for familys; was Re: Heard on The Judges
>My cousin's widow (Lafayette, Indiana, born early 1900s, now
>deceased) would use first name in the plural to refer to a family:
>e.g., Dons or Carols, meaning Don and his family or Carol and her
>family. I think I have heard others in that family group use it as
>well, but I won't swear to it. (I suppose it could formally be a
>genitive, but I processed it as a plural--and I didn't like to noodge
>kinfolks about language quirks--they thought I was weird enough!)
>On 26 Jan 2008, at 9:53, Mark Mandel wrote:
>>  Meaning "Mom and her family", "John and his family"?
>>  m a m (not M&M or Eminem)
>>  On Jan 26, 2008 12:05 AM, Dave Hause <dwhause at jobe.net> wrote:
>>>  My wife uses that (central Illinois but idiolect probably mostly
>>>  from her
>>>  grandmother - southern Indiana/northern Kentucky) or at least
>>>  almost - it
>>>  sounds to me more like "Mom 'n 'em"and the "them" may be no more
>>>  than her
>>>  mother's sister.
>>>  Dave Hause, dwhause at jobe.net
>>>  Waynesville, MO
>>>  ----- Original Message -----
>>>  From: "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>>  "Mommanem" etc. is a shibboleth of Pittsburghese.
>>  <<<
>>  <http://www.americandialect.org>
>>  Wilson had written:
>>>  The speaker was a late-thirtyish white man from Saint Louis:
>>>  "I know that it was _John-nem_ [nEm] on the boat."
>>  <<<
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
15C Morrill Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
preston at msu.edu

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

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