Date: Mon, 21 Nov 1994 02:00:00 LCL From: "M. Lynne Murphy" <104LYN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MUSE.ARTS.WITS.AC.ZA> Subject: Re: Pigtails > Matching ponytails on both sides of the head are called "dogears" here. > Or at least they used to be. Matching braids hanging down on both sides > of the head are "pigtails." > --Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] just talked to an arkansasan (arkansawyer? arkansan?) (white male) who had the same intuitions as me. i really think it's largely a matter of how you ask the question--if you ask someone, "what was mary hartman mary hartman's hairstyle?" they'll say "braids"--if you ask what was cindy brady's hairstyle, they'll say "pigtails" because the prototypical styles associated with these names (in a certain white american cultural outlook) are close to these characters' hairstyles. but as cindy got older, she wore her hair in two braids-- this would not falsify my claim that she wore pigtails. and if i asked my friend "what kind of braids did mary hartman mary hartman wear?" he'd say "pigtails" (in fact, he did just that.) was invigilating (love that word) an exam today and so i had a good view of about 75 womens' heads and was trying to decide "would i call that braids?" it occured to me that the count/mass distinction for braids and braiding (or braided hair) is relevant. students with ornate patterns of braiding i could not say "wear braids" because you can't count them--there's no clear boundaries among braids. whereas people with braids that have a fixed endpoint (i.e., those that hang down, no matter how many) are braids. (i fit right into anna wierzbicka's claims about countability in her oats and wheat paper here). a child of the 70s (obviously), lynne ____________________________________________________________________ M. Lynne Murphy e-mail: 104lyn[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Lecturer, Dept. of Linguistics phone: 27(11)716-2340 University of the Witwatersrand fax: 27(11)716-8030 Johannesburg 2050 South Africa