End of ADS-L Digest - 3 May 1998 to 4 May 1998
There are 21 messages totalling 769 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Deleted "to"; 'em singular (2)
2. cod fax (4)
3. been: Ben vs. bin (2)
4. Minnesota-area dialect
5. Honest John
6. Togie
7. (2)
8. MISC (2)
9. 50 Years of Language Change
10. Call: Interdisciplinary Conference
11. Guy Bailey's email address?
12. Ten green bottles (2)
13. your mail


Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 12:57:32 +0200
From: David Sutcliffe
Subject: Deleted "to"; 'em singular

Dear List,

I note that the "99 bottles...take one down, pass around", and the "go
with" and "come with" users turned out to have quite complex regional
distribution in the States. What about the following features which I
would have thought originally Black and/or Southern:

1) Deletion of _to_ infinitive marker as in "I want you guys have a good=


2) The use of 'em for (h)im in unstressed position. (This question
assumes that speakers generally have an opposition between schwa and lax=

/I/ in unstressed syllables).

I went to see the Titanic movie recently, and noticed the present day
characters at the beginning using the deleted "to". These speakers
sounded more Midland than Southern. =20

I also noticed the male lead, Leonardo di Caprio, regularly using the
=B4em for (h)im feature, whereas the upper class heroine only used it
occasionally, otherwise (h)im.

My impression is that deleted "to" in non-southern speech implies
extreme laid-back colloquial-ness - I've noticed it being used when
giving orders, as if to soften their impact.

I'd be glad if you could put me right on this, regarding usage,
distribution, etc. Thanks! I know I can be wildly wrong - for instance
the other day I assumed "folding laundry" was a lexical item like
"folding money".

Post script: the film was great, in the full sense of the word. Most of
the time I wasn't even thinking about pronunciations!

David Sutcliffe
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Rambla 30-32