Date: Fri, 21 Jan 1994 11:35:14 CST
From: salikoko mufwene mufw[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Subject: Re: y'all
In reponse to Don Lance, Tim Frazier writes:
It ["y'all"] appears in South African Indian English, RAjend Methrie in ENGLISH IN
LANGUAGE SHIFT, Cambridge UP 1993. It occurs in "informal letters" and
"formal speeches" and is "below the level of social consciousness." (61)
RM notes that when written it is spelled "you'll."
I would hesitate to say that it had "spread" to SAIE. SAIE appears to be
a learner variety with some influence from Hindi, Tamil, and other Indian
languages, less relation to Indian English.
You are right, saying "it had 'spread'" would rule out by fiat the
possibility of parallel and perhaps independent development. The Rajend
Mesthrie discusses the development of SAIE does not suggest possible
influence from the American part of the world, at least not obviously from
his discussion. On the other hand, what justifies the comment "SAIE appears
to be a learner variety?" I didn't develop this impression from reading
Mesthrie's book. All I could tell is that it is one of the several
contact-induced varieties around the world.
Salikoko S. Mufwene
Linguistics, U. of Chicago
s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]uchicago.edu