associative plurals

Jan Terje Faarlund j.t.faarlund at INL.UIO.NO
Wed Aug 29 09:59:03 UTC 2001

At 09:22 28.08.2001 -0500, Geoffrey S. Nathan wrote:
>At 09:57 AM 8/28/2001 -0400, Paul Hopper wrote:
>>Associative duals and plurals in early Scandinavian:
>Paul's examples of Germanic languages reminded me of a colloquial
>associative plural that was in common use in Canadian English when I was
>growing up in the fifties and early sixties.  The phrase 'and them'
>(normally @ndhEm; @=schwa, dh=edh, E=epsilon) had exactly that meaning, so 
>'Joe and them ' meant Joe and his crowd, the people who hung about with Joe
>etc.  I moved away from Canada in my early twenties and I don't know if
>this is still current.  I guess it's also syntactic, sort of...
Geoff's example from Canadian English 'Joe and them ' is probably very 
common across languages. At least in Norwegian it is widely used:  'Ola og 
dei'. While we seem to be drifting away from the core cases anyway, I may 
mention a very interesting expression from the Bergen dialect: 'Moren og 
di' = 'the mother and them' meaning 'his/her own family', as in 'Hon 
besøker moren og di' = she is visiting the mother and them', meaning 'She 
is vistiting her family'. (This may be more ineresting to social 
anthropologists than to linguists, however.)

Jan Terje

Professor Jan Terje Faarlund
Universitetet i Oslo
Institutt for nordistikk og litteraturvitskap
Postboks 1013 Blindern
N-0315 Oslo (Norway)

Tel. (+47) 22 85 69 49 (office)
      (+47) 22 12 39 66 (home)
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