Date: Sun, 12 Dec 1993 22:12:58 CST


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