Hot news perfect question

Gordon, Matthew J. GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Tue Nov 17 15:12:27 UTC 2009

I think that "I'm after knowing X" can mean "I've just found out X", but I'm no expert. Anyway this interpretation doesn't particularly make sense in the context you cite. Is there any reason to believe this is an authentic usage and not some "Mock Irish English"? After all, the after-perfect is a stereotype of Irish dialects along the lines of invariant 'be' for African American English, and the latter shows up all the time in grammatically inappropriate (per AAE grammar) contexts in made-up samples of African American usage (e.g. It be hot today).

-Matt Gordon

On 11/16/09 4:24 PM, "Benjamin Barrett" <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM> wrote:

One page 355 of Harry Turtledove's _Ruled Britannia (Roc, Sept 2003),
a novel of alternate history, he uses the form of the hot news perfect:

"I'm for the Theatre," Shakespeare answered [in the morning].
"Faith, are you indeed?" the [Irish guard] said. "Riddle my why, then.
I'm **after knowing** these plays run of afternoons."
"In sooth, they do," Shakespeare agreed.

The Wikipedia page on Hiberno-English (
) says that the hot news perfect is used as the pluperfect.

Here the meaning is "To my knowledge, these plays run in the
afternoon" or perhaps "As I have known, these plays run in the
afternoon" which seems at odds with the Wikipedia explanation.

Is there something else going on here?

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

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