Date: Wed, 18 Jan 1995 18:00:26 +0100 From: "E.W. Schneider" 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