End of ADS-L Digest - 19 Jan 1994 to 20 Jan 1994 ************************************************ There are 8 messages totalling 169 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. y'all (5) 2. nomail (2) 3. y'all singular, not! ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 20 Jan 1994 23:35:50 -0600 From: mftcf[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UXA.ECN.BGU.EDU Subject: Re: y'all On Thu, 20 Jan 1994, Donald M. Lance wrote: > I've noticed that in Columbia, Missouri, servers in bars and restaurants > freely use Y'ALL when asking if "y'all need anything else" etc. And these > are not Southerners speaking! The friendlier the banter with customers the > more likely the servers will use "y'all." Not "you all" but "y'all"! > > Today when I asked one of my classes about the phenomenon, there was unanimous > agreement that I wasn't making it up. Several students commented that they > normally didn't use that pronoun but felt obliged to use it on the job. One > worked in Colorado last summer and felt pressure to use the pronoun even thoug > she doesn't use it in other social contexts. Several commented that "it's > friendlier" than other ways of addressing customers. Where else has this item > spread to? > It appears in South African Indian English, RAjend Methrie in ENGLISH IN LANGUAGE SHIFT, Cambridge UP 1993. It occurs in "informal letters" and "formal speeches" and is "below the level of social consciousness." (61) RM notes that when written it is spelled "you'll." I would hesitate to say that it had "spread" to SAIE. SAIE appears to be a learner variety with some influence from Hindi, Tamil, and other Indian languages, less relation to Indian English. It has a plural genitive form "ya'll's." SAIE also uses all a s a general plurality denotation, e.g., "AFter he died his books-all was at home." (200) RM suggests that this usage might have an "impetus" from the lingua franca Fanagalo, possibly from Zulu. Tim Frazer