Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 17:40:35 -0500


Subject: Re: "and them"

The Texan "mamanem" does seem to be quite similar to the creole one.

It may be more restricted, though. How productive is it? or is it

generally found in "mamanem"?

The Jamaican Creole one has been noticed because it's a

mediating construction which coexists with another not generally

possible in English dialects (as far as I know-- would be interested

to hear exceptions). You can productively say both "[Name] an dem" and

"[Name]-dem", where in English you don't seem to get "Mary-them came

over" without a conjunction. (Bill Stewart, I think, called this an

'associative plural' years ago.) This is of course parallel to the

usual pluralization strategy for non-personal nouns: "di man-dem". In

Caribbean creole substrate W. African languages you also get plurals

derived from 3rd-person-pl. pronouns affixed to both common and proper

nouns, eg Yoruba: "awon-Taiwo", meaning "Taiwo and his (family,

friends, etc.)", as John Holm and others have noted in making the

substrate case for Atlantic creoles. The JC case with conjunction is

then a typical instance of having a construction which matches the

superstrate on the surface, but preserves substrate-grammar ties too.

Which makes it interesting if "-nem" is productive in AAVE,

because it too could be just phonologically derived from "and them"

after a preceding vowel, as Don Lance noted-- but on the other hand it

looks a lot like the -dem suffix! My guess would be that it's not

productive, even lexicalized, as a creole/decreolized remnant, but I

don't know the facts and would be happy to hear more.

(See John Holm's discussion in his 'Pidgins & Creoles, Vol. I', and

for JC a (morpho-)syntactic sketch I've written for an upcoming book

"Comparative Creole Syntax", ed. by Holm, and a couple papers I gave

at NWAV '93 and SCL '94 on number-marking in JC, not out yet.)