Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 21:20:12 EDT
From: Larry Horn LHORN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]YALEVM.CIS.YALE.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.
As a non-native speaker of the relevant dialect(s), I'm not convinced about
the obligatory plurality of 'y'all', especially given some of the attested
instances we've been reading about; it seems as though we have a case of
language change in progress, at least for some of the dialect area. But
Natalie is surely right on y'all vs. all y'all: it's not just 'we all' that
can be cited here, but 'you all', which is perfectly good in my native dialect
with the meaning 'all of you': Are you all planning to go to Kim's [...or
just some of you]? What I would have thought didn't occur is "quantifier
floating" the 'all' over 'y'all', to yield 'y'all all'. But no doubt there
are speakers who say it all the time. Anyway, I prefer 'all y'all' for its