End of ADS-L Digest - 8 Aug 1994 to 9 Aug 1994 ********************************************** There are 12 messages totalling 328 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. you (5) 2. singular they, y'all 3. he/she (3) 4. your male type cats (3) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 10 Aug 1994 11:09:39 -0500 From: debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UIUC.EDU Subject: you >Date: Wed, 10 Aug 1994 10:45:06 -0500 >From: Dennis Baron >To: baron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ux1.cso.uiuc.edu >Subject: you > Thought y'all'd be interested in this extension of an old discussion: > >>Newsgroups: alt.usage.english >>From: peter[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]fourier.newcastle.edu.au (Peter Moylan) >>Subject: Re: "You" [was: herstory-this bugs me] >>Date: Mon, 8 Aug 1994 23:26:17 GMT >Greg Resch (resch[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]cpcug.org) wrote: > >[Comments about the loss of "thou" and "thee"] > >>dwharper[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ingr.com (Dan Harper) wrote: >>> >>> Sorry, perhaps I should have written, "There seems to be a real need in >>> English for a plural second person pronoun that is different in form from >>> the singular second person pronoun." > >>I can almost agree with that, except that there *was* one, which we seem >>(*supra*) to have dropped. That, and my objection to a related attempt >>now in vogue to institute the use of "they" for the putatively offensive >>"he" and "she," are why I object to a *new* "separate" form. > >>But the "you-all" and "youse" mentioned earlier are dialectal in America, >>so I can not accept them as having gained some "pluplural" meaning. Sorry. >> ^^^^^^^^^ [JOKE!] > >There is a small part of the USA where "y'all" seems to be doing >its job as a plural; on the other hand, we've seen complaints in >this group that some people are now using "y'all" as a _singular_ >pronoun. > >Something similar is happening in Australia. One does hear "youse" >moderately often - although it has never been adopted by the >"educated" speakers - and at first sight this appears to satisfy >the need for a plural pronoun. I have noticed, however, that many >people who use "youse" have started using "youses" as the plural >form, which suggests that they think of "youse" as being singular. > >My overall impression is that native English speakers don't want to >have separate pronouns for the second person singular and plural. >Whenever a new plural form is introduced, it evolves to the point >where the singular/plural distinction is lost again. > >>> I thought the parallel to what may be happening with the third >>> person was obvious. > >I'm not at all convinced that there is a parallel. Blurring the >singular/plural distinction in the third person works in some >situations, but not in others. The words "he", "she", and "it" >show no sign at all of following "thou" into oblivion. > >-- >Peter Moylan peter[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ee.newcastle.edu.au > (also peter[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]tesla.newcastle.edu.au, eepjm[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]cc.newcastle.edu.au) > > Dennis Baron debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]uiuc.edu Department of English 217-333-2392 University of Illinois fax: 217-333-4321 608 South Wright Street Urbana, Illinois 61801