Date: Sun, 22 Jan 1995 09:11:00 EST
From: "Dennis.Preston" 22709MGR[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MSU.EDU
Subject: 2 pl, "Yankee"
You guys meaning something like the organization you represent is common here
in Michigan. Do you guys have long underwear? (a sentence a CRAN [Curiously
Removed Apppalachian in the North] like me is apt to ask these days).
You-all versus yall was socially marked in Louisville in the 50s. The first
was perceived by middle class (especially lower middle class) speakers to be
OK; they avoided the second and associated it with hick and/or working class
speech. The truth was (so far as I can reconstruct it) that upper middle (and
probably upper) class speakers and working class speakers both used it. The
you-all speakers were, therefore, the more classically linguistically
insecure, although the various regional inputs into the Louisville might also
have been partly responsible.
I cannot reconstruct (and probably should not try) any subtle pragmatic or
semantic differences between the two, but I am intrigued by the possibility.
22709mgr[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]msu.edu