Presentation on theme: "Dialect differences: Grammar"— Presentation transcript:
1 Dialect differences: Grammar P Trudgill (1994) Dialects. London: Routledge.A Hughes et al. (2005) English accents and dialects (4th ed). London: Hodder Arnold. Chapter 2J Cheshire (1982) Variation in an English dialect. Cambridge: CUP.
2 Grammatical differences Rather like phonetic differences in thatWe are comparing with RP as a standardWe will avoid making value judgmentsBut note that nonstandard grammar is often denegratedLess like phonetic differences in that we have differences ofSystemDistributionIncidenceRealisation
3 Grammar differences between two dialects Differences of grammar systemAdditional distinctions (very rare); distinctions “missing”Differences of distributionequivalent morphemes/grammatical devices, but the contexts in which they occur differDifferences of incidenceequivalent morphemes, but in particular constructions, a different morpheme is chosenDifferences of realisationequivalent morphemes, but the realisation differs
4 Grammatical systems“Grammar” can refer to everything from morphology to syntax“Morphology” in English mostly refers to suffixes, but there are a few cases of “ablaut” (strong verbs, irregular plurals)Typical morphosyntactic phenomena in English include: number (N and V), tense (V), agreement (only in present tense verbs), case (only in pronouns)“Syntax” refers to issues about word order
5 1. The verb to be RP: am is are was were am not aren’t isn’t wasn’t weren’tbeinghave/has beenseveralamisarewereain’t / amn’tain’tweren’tbeingØ beenno sg in pastseveraliswasin’twan’tbeingbeenno pl formSWbeworbain’twan’tbein’been!!!Examples of different distribution, different incidence, different realisation,
6 2. Pronouns RP marks pronouns for case, number and gender 1S 2S MS FS NS 1P 2P PNominative I you he she it we you theyAccusative me you him her it us you themPossessive adj my your his her its our your theirPossessive pronoun mine yours his hers its ours yours theirsSeveral dialects use us for 1S accusative: eg give us a breakSome dialects still distinguish 2S and 2P, as in OE:thou, thee, thy, thineusually with 2P as a polite form for single addresseeOr have an explicit plural form:y’all, youse, yiz, you-uns, ye (~you for 2S)me for ‘my’ is quite widespread
7 2. Pronouns RP marks pronouns for case, number and gender 1S 2S MS FS NS 1P 2P PNominative I you he she it we you theyAccusative me you him her it us you themPossessive adj my your his her its our your theirPossessive pronoun mine yours his hers its ours yours theirsConflation of nom and acc, esp in pl: us, themRegularisation of reflexive:accusative: meself, usselves; possessive: hisself, theirselvesAlternate forms, especially of FS nominativeher, oo, …Dorset: ee (MS, FS), er (NS), ie ±animateN Irish mine’s for mineHypercorrection me → I, eg *between you and I
8 2. Pronouns Differences of system Differences of distribution 2nd person sing~plural distinctionDifferences of distributionUse of me rather than my in meselfBoth me and my are found, but not in the same contextsDifferences of incidenceUse of us where you’d expect meUse of me where you’d expect myUs and me are also used where you would expect themDifferences of realisationOo = she
9 3. Past tense of strong verbs Weak verbs have a single past-tense form used for both simple past and perfect (+ed)I worked, I have workedStrong verbs (mostly) have a different form for these two (vowel ablaut, sometimes +en)swim/swam/swum, see/saw/seen, write/wrote/writtencome/came/come, get/got/got, have/had/had, put/put/putMixed verbs (+t/d) in this case are like weak verbsbuy/bought, lose/lost, leave/left, find/found, feed/fed
10 3. Past tense of strong verbs In many dialects there is a strong tendency to bring the strong verbs into line with the weak bycollapsing the distinction between simple past and past participlemerging one with the other, in either directionI seen him, I done it (using PP for simpe past)I have wrote, I have went, I have saw (vice versa)or using the present form, on the model of come, runI see him yesterday, I give him what foror using an anomalous variant formwrit, thunkor using a form of “analogical levelling”drawedhistorical cases of this have found their way into RPdived (was dove), got (was gotten), behoved (was behoove)
11 4. Negation Multiple negation is widely found in nonstandard dialects: I didn’t have no dinner“Double negative” is an inaccurate term; linguists prefer “negative concord”She never told no one nothing.Negative concord was part of standard dialect, but RP has diverged (not v.v.)cf other languages, eg French ne … pas
12 4. Negation Other aspects of negation vary across dialects: ain’t as negative form of all forms of both be and haveI ain’t coming, I ain’t seen him, they ain’t eatenother idiosyncratic negative formsdivn’t, amn’t, bain’tnever as simple negative instead of not or didn’tHe said I skipped school but I neverEven though he was unmarked, he never hit the targetI put the key in the lock but it never turnedbut restricted with non-past-tense verbs:That’s never my brother* I never smoke (≠ I don’t smoke)
13 4. Negation no (or nae) rather than not He’ll no do that again in a hurryuse of not after the pronoun, rather than n’t, especially in questionsI told you did I not? Are you not coming? Did he not tell you?She’ll not go, I’ve not got onesome non-modal/auxiliary verbs have a negative form with n’t???
14 5. Participle formsUse of progressive or past partciple with verbs like want, needSouthern England, RPI want it washed, it wants washingMidlands, Northern EnglandI want it washing, it wants washingScotland, IrelandI want it washed, it wants washed
15 6. HaveHave acts as both an auxiliary verb, and a full verb meaning ‘possess’As an auxiliary verbit has a negative formhasn’t, haven’t, hadn’tit can form interrogatives by simple inversion when an auxiliary, but not as a modalHave you seen it? Has the man gone?it can be emphasised simply by the addition of stressHe has eaten. The man has gone.it can participate in tag questionshe has eaten, hasn’t he? they haven’t arrived yet, have they?As an full verb it needs auxiliary doto form the negativeHe doesn’t have a car.* He hasn’t a carto form an interrogativeDoes he have a car?* Has he a car?to show emphasisHe does have / *has a carHe doesn’t have / *hasn’t a carin tag questionsHe has a car, doesn’t he/ *hasn’t he ?He doesn’t have a car, does he ?* He hasn’t a car, has he ?
16 6. HaveSome dialects use the auxiliary properties even with the full-verb haveie the * examples on previous slide are OKIt also has a modal use (=‘must’) with mixed behaviourDo you have to go ~ ? Have you to go?I don’t have to go ~ ? I haven’t to go.Other differences surround use of phrases likeDo you have ~ Have you gotDid you have ~ Had youIn some dialects, be also can take or requires auxiliary doHe do be a funny chapDo you be living here?
17 7. Word order differences Order of direct and indirect objectsStandard English has IO>DOShe gave the man a bookShe gave him a bookShe gave him itSeveral dialects also allow:She gave it him (quite common)She gave it the man (common in North, * in South)She gave a book him (not common, but possible in North, esp with contrastive stress)She gave a book the man (ditto)Alternate forms of particle verb constructionsHe turned out the light. Put on your coat. She took off her shoes.He turned the light out. Put your coat on. She took her shoes off.Both acceptable, but southerners prefer (b), northerners prefer (a)
18 8. Relative pronouns Who ~ which ~ that as in Various dialects allow That is the man… who did it; who(m) I sawthat did it; that I sawThat is the brick… which did it; which I sawthat did it; that I saw; I sawVarious dialects allowThat is the man what done itwhich done itas done itat done itdone itWhose often replaced by what’s or that’sThat’s the man what’s son did itThat’s the man what his son did itThat’s the man that’s son did it
19 Conclusion There are many other examples Many nonstandard features are common to many dialects, though some other things are still very particularSome could be analysed as lexical or even phonetic examplesno for not, ain’t for aren’t“Grammar” covers everything from morphology to word orderNot quite so easy to categorise