Date: Sun, 23 Jan 1994 13:22:01 CST
From: "Donald M. Lance" ENGDL[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MIZZOU1.BITNET
Subject: Re: y'all singular, not!
My earlier message said, in effect, "Y'all may be right." It was Southern
politeness more than Southern insecurity. You laid out the scenario very
well. Unnatural use of 'y'all' also occurs in places like Branson, where
emcees know the busloads of $20 bills expect Southernness, so they use 'y'all'
where plural 'you' would be more natural. We use 'you','you all', AND
'y'all'. An analysis of extended discourse with 2nd pl pronouns would be
interesting. When I read or hear claims by ae-raisers that Southerners use
singular 'y'all' freely (claim based on small sample), I secretly ("politely")
wonder whether the topic of the claim is really language change. After all,
pure Elizabethan English is used in Appalachia and the Ozarks, as we all
know. Now I'm not being polite. Sorry. DMLance