Date: Fri, 20 Oct 1995 07:42:45 EST
From: Beth Lee Simon simon[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CVAX.IPFW.INDIANA.EDU
Subject: Re: y'all, singular usage?
This form of singular is common in nTX (say, Denton area) and my
Texas colleagues here tell me it's common elsewhere. What I've found,
and others have substantiated, at least for TX, is that usage depends
on the situation. You might turn to your companion in the front seat
and ask if "ya'll want to get a pizza". At a service station, the attendant
might ask you if "ya'll want that filled?" When the highway patrol officer
pulls you over, however, s/he asks "Would you step out of the car, please?"
Never "ya'll". (I've been told about the last, can't speak for that
The plural, then, is "all ya'll".
Let me modify the TX label. My San Antonio friends say that "ya'll
" is always plural there.
And, finally, all of the above is based on experience/anecdote, not on
organized fieldwork/data collection.