Date: Sun, 8 May 1994 21:01:52 EDT


Subject: Case quarter, Anymore

The terms 'case quarter', 'case dime', etc. were new to this Tennessean

when he moved to South Carolina in 1981, but here they are quite

common and are to an extent ethnically marked. I've not had an African

American student in the past five years who didn't know them, while maybe

twenty to thirty percent of white students native to South Carolina do.

As for the positive 'anymore' in American English, I review the evidence

for its having an Ulster connection in "Exploring the Roots of Appalachian

English" in ENGLISH WORLD-WIDE 10.241-42 (1989). Bruce Boling's failure

to find one instance of it in his Irish Emigrant Letter Corpus and the

failure of John Kirk and his Northern Ireland students to hear it are both

important to note. Yet so are James Milroy's statements in his 1981 book

on Belfast speech that positive 'anymore' is "perhaps the most striking

connection between Ulster and the United States . . . . although it must

at one time have been quite widespread in the north of Ireland . . . our

researches have so far uncovered it only in the Irish-speaking area of

Donegal, where it can be used with present or future meaning" (3-4). Most

citations from Ireland and Scotland have future-tense verbs (e.g. 'There'll

be herring any more") that look very different from American patterns of

usage, so perhaps positive 'anymore' has taken on its own development and

is more American than anything else.

But as far as its ultimate source is concerned, Scotch-Irish emigrants

from Ulster are the best bet until the form is attested somewhere else,

despite the puzzle posed by Boling and Kirk not finding it.

Michael Montgomery, University of South Carolina