Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 18:46:26 EST


Subject: Re: "and them"

In discussing the "and them" and " 'n them" constructions in American

dialect, Peter L. Patrick notes the similarity to the Jamaican creole

"[Name] an dem" construction. He points out that the construction can

also be used in the singular without the conjunction, "[Name]-dem",

whereas in English you don't seem to get "Mary-them came over" without a


Linguistics is not my field, but recently I read a book called

"Coming of Age in Mississippi" by Anne Moody in which I saw the use

of a singular name followed by them, e.g. "I looked over at Miss Pearl

them again and saw tears in the corner of Miss Pearl's eyes." In context

the meaning is that she looked at just Miss Pearl and no one else. There

are numerous examples in the book which is the autobiography of an Afro-

American woman who grew up in rural Mississippi in the 11950's and 60's.