Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 13:56:47 EST From: Larry Horn Subject: Re: basketball terms Greg Pulliam writes, >Another basketball usage that comes to me is the null-possessive, as in >"Duke ball," or "Chicago ball," when the standard is "Duke's ball" or >"Chicago's ball." I've heard this from basketball announcers who are >otherwise speakers of "standard", but I'd guess that they've picked it up >from the players. It seems to be a matter of s- deletion, which is common >in AAVE. > >Any thoughts on this. I tend to doubt it. I think the same construction has been used in broad- casting football for generations, going back to the pre-TV era: Notre Dame ball on the Michigan 35 (or whatever). And I also suspect it was used in basketball before the trend to a preponderance of African-American players. In both cases, the announcers would likely not have been AAVE speakers. In any case, I don't think it's s-deletion but something more morphosyntactic: Chicago ball, maybe, but Bulls' ball, not Bull ball. --Larry