Date: Wed, 18 Jan 1995 18:00:26 +0100


Subject: 2 pl

I`m not really surprised about the *yous(e)* uses - they`re all

pretty well documented in Linguistic Atlas materials, as far as I

know (right, Bill?).

What strikes me as more exciting about this topic is another form,

and perhaps yous native-speaking folks out there have intuitions

about this: What about *you guys*? To my mind, and on the basis of my

admittedly limited experience, this seems to be developing into a

distinct second plural form outside the y`all (and perhaps

youse/you`uns/etc.) area. Isn`t it true that a waitress in most

non-southern parts of the country would address a group of patrons by

saying "What do you guys want?" rather than a plain "What do you

want?" There appears to be a strong functional pressure towards

reestablishing the formal number distinction in the second plural

which English gave up sometime in the sixteenth century (see under *thou*,

in any good history of the language). Southern substratum

in Chicago?

Regards, Edgar

Edgar.Schneider[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

University of Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany

phone (int. line)-49-941-9433470

fax (int. line)-49-941-9434992