Date: Sun, 12 Dec 1993 22:12:58 CST
From: "Donald M. Lance" ENGDL[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MIZZOU1.BITNET
Subject: Re: some U.S. "Midland" regionalisms
Rather than a generational thing, maybe tentativity in oral language is
a post-sixties thing, not necessarily related to sixties stuff. Popular
trends in psychologizing may in fact have contributed 'tentativity' to
the way we think of what we do, know, understand,....
I'd think social-class or occupational orientation might have more influence
than generation per se. How does one define 'generation'? Those born
during a particular decade, or those in a current age group?
To respond directly to David Bergdahl's query, I haven't particularly
noticed generational differences -- i.e., younger and older people in
the same socio-occupational group behaving differently linguistically. Maybe
it's there but I haven't noticed.* Does the generation thing mean that as
today's twentysomethings age by a score of years they will use the language
now used by fortysomethings? I'd like to see dialectologists make more
references to year/decade of birth along with observations about generation.
*I.e. vis-a-vis progressive statives. DMLance