Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 11:27:01 -0500
Subject: so don't I

I know I'm a couple weeks late on this one, but just in case anyone's
still interested in the "so don't I" distribution...
My mother grew up in the small town (pop. 1500-ish) of Youngsville in NW
Pennsylvania. I spent my early years (till 1st grade) in the smaller town
of Irvine (pop. maybe a couple hundred) about 3 miles away, but did
kindergarten in Y-ville. From 2nd-9th grade we lived in the county seat
(Warren, pop. 11K or so), maybe 8 miles away from Y-ville.
I was baffled when, having lived in the area all my short life, we moved
back to Youngsville for my 10th grade year, and I discovered that the
standard response indicating agreement was "so don't I" (as in A: "I like
ice cream." B: "Mmm. So don't I!" Also, "so didn't I," "so doesn't she,"
etc., but not "I don't too," etc.). While it had more currency among the
harder-core locals, it seemed to be pretty much standard fare for
everyone, barring those who'd moved in from outside.
I'd never before nor have ever since heard the construction used
anywhere outside of the very immediate bounds of Youngsville. Renegade New
Englanders? Well, NW PA _is_ at a wild juncture of dialect areas, and
with lake Erie where it is, a bottleneck for New Englanders travelling
overland to the West. Still strange, tho.
Any thoughts?

Bryan Gick - bgick[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]
Yale Department of Linguistics
and Haskins Laboratories