Cases in Indo-European

H. Mark Hubey HubeyH at
Wed Jan 27 03:59:22 UTC 1999

[ moderator re-formatted ]

Dr. John E. McLaughlin and Michelle R. Sutton wrote:

[ moderator snip ]

> Unfortunately, there's no linguistics behind it.  Take syntactic change, for
> example.  Thirty years ago, there was no discourse connector/predicate
> marker/etc.  'like'.  Now it is like becoming the most widespread marker in
> the American language.  Deal with it.  Our language is constantly changing in
> ways that you would consider large-scale.  Another example is the common
> rising intonation on the end of like all declarative sentences.  Like, you
> know, it's not a question, but it's just a statement (rising intonation right
> up like through the period).  Most Americans treat the written language as a
> separate tongue and speak in a different manner, splitting infinitives,
> dangling prepositions, piling on negatives, adding 'like', infixing 'f**king'
> in prestress position.  There are hundreds of things going on in standard
> American dialects that have no reflection in the writing system because
> Americans have perceived a difference.

Nice examples. I still have no idea what this is supposed to do. Let's
see, the system is not small. T2-T1 is not large but neither is the
change. Is the change externally driven?
I don't know. Is it from Hispanic? Is it from Black slang/lingo? Suppose
it is. Then this already existed in the language. It is like saying that
there are black sheep and white sheep and that 10% is black. Now 100
years later, there are still black and white sheep but their proportion
is smaller but now we got grey sheep. All it shows is that it is
spreading in a different way. It does not show that something that
wasn't there has cropped up.  If furthermore, you claim that Black
slang/lingo was not English, then you again have externally-driven

Best Regards,
hubeyh at =-=-=-=

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