[Ads-l] Provisional comments on jitney in David L. Gold, L.B. 2018-2020

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Tue Nov 10 14:34:16 UTC 2020

Concerning the publication, David L. Gold, “Pursuing the origin of the American English informalism _gitney ~ jitney_: On the alleged Louisiana French word _*jetnée_ and the fallacy of omne ignotum pro magnifico in etymological research,” Leuvense Bijdragen 102 (2018-2020) 383-417.
1) The first sentence of the Abstract (p. 383, with my ellipses) included: “The author’s first treatment of the informal American English noun _gitney ~ jitney_...(Gold 2009b)…”
I’m not sure how important it may be, but A. Liberman’s Bibliography of English Etymology lists at jitney, Gold 1983b, 1983h, and 1985b. And Gold 2009b, Chapter 9, “American English _jitney_....” in his Studies in Etymology and Etiology… (2009) 163-192 at footnote 1 reads: “This is an expanded version of an article which appeared in _Leuvense Bijdragen_ 87, 1988, pp. 155-170.” Also, Gold’s latest article cites me once at ads-l 20 July 2016, (a post which also requoted, with typos corrected, a 3 July post); those combined refer to Liberman’s Bibliography at jitney, among other publications, and also Gold’s 2009 publication.
2) David Gold may have misunderstood my proposal. I wrote that jitney/jetney may have derived from French jeton: “The antedatings of jitney (1899) and jetney (1898), as well as the 1915 memory of jetnée may show the origin in Black Louisiana French, from jeton.”
Quoting out of context sentence fragments of what I wrote (p. 408) may misrepresent what I think and thought and wrote.
Gold wrote “In its present state, Stephen Goranson’s suggested etymology of gitney ~ jitney rests on no verified evidence.” Whether that’s accurate I leave to readers.
Gold announced (409, 410, and bibliography) a forthcoming article that presumably will expand on an—uncited—1898 text including “In the colored parlance I’m the Jetney[…]”

Stephen Goranson

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

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