Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 09:49:37 -0600

From: "Salikoko S. Mufwene" s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UCHICAGO.EDU

Subject: Re: y'all are crazy

All y'all just seemed like overkill to me, since I think of y'all as

being plural already, that's all.

I very definitely think of "y'all" as always plural, in spite of the hints

of evidence to the contrary. But I use "all y'all" on occasion since

"all y'all" is different from "some of y'all." Sort of like "all of us"

or "we all." I don't think anybody would think of that as overkill just

because "we" is already plural.

--Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

"All y'all" suggests, consistent with Natalie's observations (above and

earlier), that "all" in "y'all" (why not "yall" by the way) has already

bleached the meaning of 'totality'. PLURAL is different from TOTALITY,

isn't it? I suspect a difference between "yall"-users and those that do not

use it may also lie in whether they interpret "yall" etymologically rather

than synchronically. I may of course be wrong if Marla is also a "y'all"-user.

Just a guess.



Salikoko S. Mufwene s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

University of Chicago 312-702-8531; FAX: 312-702-9861

Department of Linguistics

1010 East 59th Street

Chicago, IL 60637