End of ADS-L Digest - 1 Mar 1995 to 2 Mar 1995 ********************************************** There are 10 messages totalling 238 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. the Ozarks and other plurals (2) 2. Ozark(s) and other plural(s) (3) 3. When/where is the next Methods in Dialectology? 4. "little" and "jr" (2) 5. Looking for some useful arguments (2) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 3 Mar 1995 11:12:39 -0500 From: "Cathy C. Bodin" Subject: Re: the Ozarks and other plurals The etymology that Donald Lance provided for "the Ozarks" is fascinating and raises the example of British plurals, such as "trades unions" vs. "trade unions" [Amer. usage]. On a related head, could I ask for comment on these British plurals? How does "their" figuration of collectives differ from ours? They say that the United States "are" doing such-and-such in the news and that British Oil "have" announced such-and-such. Does anyone know if a Trades Union X or a Trade Union X "has" or "have" been considered as a plural traditionally in Britain? --Cathy Bodin On Tue, 28 Feb 1995, Donald M. Lance wrote: > The issue of "Ozarks" is more complex than Peter McGraw's response implies. > As well as we can determine, the word came from French explorers in > the late 1600s who wrote "aux arcs" on maps to indicate where the Arcansa > Indians lived and hunted. Liaison in French phonology would yield a > pronunciation of this abbreviation that would sound very much like "Ozarks,"* > which was the early English spelling. So "Ozark" is more like a folk > back-formation used in attributive positions where the "plural" ending > is not common in American English -- i.e., Ozark Mountains. All the toponyms > on official maps have "Ozark" in attributive position, as do business names > in the area. However, in recent decades, the -s form has come into use in > attributive position (Ozarks Conservation District, etc.). (*The final -s > in French is a further complication in the story.) Further, McGraw's > question about "Applachains Mountains" etc. points out that the anti-Ozark > copy-editors aren't so smart after all, though they may be following a local > trend. Every now and then I try to steer my mind toward this question but > haven't done systematic study. In British nomenclature we get "trades unions" > but "trade unions" in American English. I think the attributive -s form in > similar compounds is on the rise in American English, and the anti-Ozark > editors may be reflecting that trend. It's this latter trend that I haven't > done anything systematic on. How widespread/sporadic is the trend? > DMLance