must of have??

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 12 15:01:12 UTC 2010

I remember getting interested in this construction about fifteen years
ago.  I observed in my own speech that the schwa that auxiliary "have"
reduces to sometimes had a lengthened form whose meaning I could never
quite pin down.  "must of have" would be a representation of /mAst@@/.
 "A lot of people /mAst@@/ seen this sounds okay to me, as it does
with /mAst@@v/, but I can't get /mAst at v@/ or /mAst at v@v/.  I get the
lengthened schwa also in "He /SUd@@/ been there."  I thought at the
time, and still do, that the schwa reduction of "have" is taking on a
function of its own, as often happens in grammaticalization, but I'm
not sure what that fundtion is.


On Tue, Jan 12, 2010 at 3:25 AM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      must of have??
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I've seen "could/must have" and I've seen "could/must of"--I've even
> seen "could/must off". But I've never seen "must of have". Was this an
> accurate transcript or an editorial error resulting from trying to
> correct "must of"?
> Paterson slams Reid comments
>> "I'm just saying that it's disturbing a lot of people *must of have*
>> seen this," Paterson continued during a question-and-answer period
>> after a speech to Family Planning Advocates. "It's a very intrusive
>> and kind of degrading remark, but it's one that was probably close to
>> a different kind of way of phrasing it which might have been acceptable."
>     VS-)
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