Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 06:53:49 CDT From: Natalie Maynor Subject: More Old Mail ("would") Have I already forwarded this one? I'm getting confused. If this is a duplicate, please accept my apologies. I'll be home soon, and life will return to normal. > Date: Mon, 16 May 1994 20:22:52 -0400 > From: BITNET list server at UGA (1.7f) > Subject: ADS-L: error report from UCLAMVS > > The enclosed mail file, found in the ADS-L reader and shown under the spoolid > 8980 in the console log, has been identified as a possible delivery error > notice for the following reason: "Sender:", "From:" or "Reply-To:" field > pointing to the list has been found in mail body. > > ----------------- Message in error (136 lines) ------------------------- > Date: Mon, 16 May 94 17:20 PDT > From: benji wald > Subject: Re: Re: The text and beyond Cynthia. > > Hey! What happened to the ANYMORE discussion. I was gonna give a big spiel > on positive anymore, but only as compensation for changing the > subject. Now I see that the list is so volatile that I can > dispense with that discussion-- unless anybody wants to hear it > -- and just change the subject. > > If I WDA KNOWN YOU WERE COMIN I'D A BAKED A CAKE > IF I HADDA KNOWN ...IF I WD KNOW YOU WERE COMIN .. > IF I WD KNOW SPANISH I CD GET A BETTER JOB > IF I WD BE YOU I WDN'T DO THAT > > Do any of these strike anybody out there as peculiar? Which? > Why? Where are YOU from? > > The main point, of course, is the "non-root" use of the WOULD in if clauses. > This seems to be sweeping the country in the last generation > from problematic origins. It is not part of my original New > York City dialect, but I've even noticed it there recently. The only > mention I've seen of it, outside of my own work, is Trudgill & > Hannah's assertion that it is "American". Trudgill's the expert on > British dialects, but I suspect it came to the US from Britain even if > it hasn't survived there. The "hadda", of course, is attested in > Britain at least as far back as Caxton. Jespersen says it's a back formation > from contracted 'd (< would) to "had", so ... In the US my impression is > t hat "hadda" is basically Southern, which, of course, includes > Southern Californ ia, since I think the definition of "Southern" > is any place where it's lower class to maintain the "which/witch" distinction. > > Although spread of the modal (or its equivalent) from the consequent to the > con ditional clause is a commonplace across languages, there > seem to be subtleties to the use of "would" according to the > distinction between active and stative verbs, hence the strangeness of > when I was six years old I WOULD (= USED TO) live across the street > from the school. > That's why I carefully chose the examples I gave above. I first became aware > of WD in if-clauses in studying the East LA community, a bilingual > English-Spanish community with English dominance. When I told > a class I thought it was Spanish influence I lost authority, > because the students told me "everybody" in LA talks like that. > They were right. Like other things you don't notice till you > notice, then I noticed it just about everywhere. However, there seem to be > constraints along the lines I suggested above. These are what interest me > most, but I'm also interested in the current geographical > distribution of "hadda" and where, if anywhere, there is > across-the-board insistence on the simple pasts in if-clauses of such > conditionals, my native dialect -- but unfortunately for interpreting > judgments, also the standard. I've written about the problems > involved and the subtleties in an article in > > Norbert Dittmar, ed. (1993) Modality and Langage Acquisition. > Berlin: De Gruyter > (I forgot the exact name of the article, something about > modality in East LA with notes on general American modal use in speech) > > where I concentrate on East LA and limitations to linguistic assimilation. > But there's a lot more to be done on its use in other American > English dialects, and that can affect to some extent the > conclusions I reached even in that paper. I fear that if it is not attended > to until the next generation it will have already taken over, > it seems to be spreading that quickly, and scholars will be arguing > about how it started and spread, and have a dim opinion of us > for not noticing and documenting it. Benji Wald > ------- > Dennis, I sent this out to the ADSL line in general a few days ago, > attached to something Natalie Maynor had sent in, but Natalie told me that > I didn't delete or add something to the address (which I still don't > understand how (it) works) and it did not get out to the list. Then she > told me she's in NY on an unfamiliar computer and doesn't know how to > forward it to the list. I'm telling you in case it happens this time too, > since now it's attached to one of your messages. [Aha. This explains why I was confused about whether I had already forwarded it. The problem, btw, wasn't that I was at an unfamiliar computer. The problem was that I was telnetting through the VM system at CUNY to the Unix system at Mississippi State. VM (or CMS) is incompatible with the rest of the world (which is why IBM mainframes are becoming dinosaurs). The mail bounced because you didn't delete the header lines that referred to ADS-L. LISTSERV won't let mail go through with those lines in the body of it. It's a loop-preventive. Natalie] > > By the way, readers should realise that it's not just a change taking > place in "if" clauses but in all "subjunctivoid" clauses, e.g., I wish > you WDV/had(da) told me, I wish I WD know/knew the answer (somebody's > gotta think this one's wierd) etc. Benji again. > > --------------------TEXT-OF-YOUR-MAIL-------------------------------- > > > Date: Sun, 15 May 1994 07:12:00 EDT > > From: "Dennis.Preston" <22709MGR[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MSU.EDU> > > Subject: Re: The text and beyond Cynthia. > > > > Tom, > > I assume you know Dick Bailey and Dolores Burton's English Stylistics: A > > Bibliography (MIT Press, 1968), much of which is devoted to 'linguistic > > stylistics.' There is, however, a less well-known supplement: James Bennett, > > Bibliography of Stylistics and Related Criticism, 1967-83 (MLA, 1986) which > > you ought to look through. Lots of 'non-linguistic' stuff in both, but both > > are very useful for what you want to do. > > Dennis Preston > > 22709mgr[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]