LINGUIST List 2.658

Mon 14 Oct 1991

Disc: Sound Change and Double Modals

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Directory

  1. , 2.642 Sound Change and Collectives
  2. bert peeters, 2.642 Sound Change
  3. , Re: 2.631 Double Modals; Specific/Referential
  4. Dave Eddington, Double Modals
  5. Jules D. Gliesche, Double Modals

Message 1: 2.642 Sound Change and Collectives

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 91 13:34:26 EDT
From: <Alexis_Manaster_Ramermts.cc.wayne.edu>
Subject: 2.642 Sound Change and Collectives
Ellen Kaisse rises to the defense of the phonologists from me
by pointing out that recent theories treat feature-changing
rules as marked compared to spreading and delinking rules. And
what am I if not a phonologist? Chopped liver? But seriously
I think I may have conflated some issues. The first one is
whether, formally, one can really enforce the use of context
in rules. I still have doubts whether this can be done in
any framework I know of, but I would be happy to be shown otherwise.
The other point is much simpler, really. I don't see how any
existing approach can capture the fact that sound changes often
(maybe always) seem to start in a certain environment and then
spread to other environments (or that they tend to start out
as "optional" rules (whatever that means) and then become more
and more obligatory). And, of course, I am not even sure (as
I tried to indicate in my earlier posting) that we should insist
on this as a universal of sound change.
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Message 2: 2.642 Sound Change

Date: Mon, 14 Oct 91 13:42:59 EST
From: bert peeters <peeterstasman.cc.utas.edu.au>
Subject: 2.642 Sound Change
> Date: Tue, 08 Oct 91 21:03:08 -0400
> From: Ellen Prince <ellencentral.cis.upenn.edu>
> Subject: Re: 2.621 Sound Change
>
> >From: bert peeters <peeterstasman.cc.utas.edu.au>
>
> >When the labels "conditioned"
> >and "unconditioned" were coined, historical linguists did not know
> >better (witness the other label for "unconditioned", viz. "spontaneous").
> >Nowadays, we do know that there are no changes without causes. So why
> >do we stick to the old terminology?
>
> historical linguists did not know better? what is the evidence that they ever
> thought that unconditioned (or conditioned) sound change did not have (or had)
> causes? and why is 'spontaneous' another label for 'unconditioned'? i thought
> it was opposed to 'gradual', a distinction that is, to my understanding,
> orthogonal to conditioned/unconditioned.
My assessment of what historical linguists in those days knew and/or didn't
know rests on what I read in several writings by Martinet. See especially
*Evolution des langues et reconstruction* (1975, Paris, P.U.F.), pp. 54 and
235 (revised reprints of papers originally published in 1965 and in 1959
respectively).
Dr Bert Peeters Tel: +61 02 202344
Department of Modern Languages 002 202344
University of Tasmania at Hobart Fax: 002 207813
GPO Box 252C Bert.Peetersmodlang.utas.edu.au
Hobart TAS 7001
Australia
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Message 3: Re: 2.631 Double Modals; Specific/Referential

Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1991 16:58 EDT
From: <LINVANubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu>
Subject: Re: 2.631 Double Modals; Specific/Referential
With respect to double modals: I grew up in Texas and 'might could' is the
'best' double modal combination for me, followed by 'might should'. I don't
get other combinations very easily. Others have more liberal dialects; I
once heard a man in Houston say to his wife "Don't get so far ahead, I may
not could make it."
Robert Van Valin
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Message 4: Double Modals

Date: Wed, 9 Oct 91 13:56:58 -0500
From: Dave Eddington <eddingccwf.cc.utexas.edu>
Subject: Double Modals
The discussion on double modals makes it appear as if they are limited to
the southern US. They are in fact heard commonly in Utah, and often
considered the 'shibboleth' of the working class or of people from
small towns.
David Eddington
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Message 5: Double Modals

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 91 9:27:38 CDT
From: Jules D. Gliesche <glieschelonestar.utsa.edu>
Subject: Double Modals
Re: Bill Renynolds' Poll of Southerners
Bill,
I grew up between southwest Florida and northwest North Carolina - also lived
in Tenessee for a couple of years, and I've heard "might could" used often
both in declarative and interrogative sentences. For instance:
 Do you recon you might could fix my fence today?
 (i.e. might you possibly be able to?)
Interestingly enough, the folks for who this is natural seem to only use it
when they're being either polite (i.e. don't want to be pushy so they add
the extra aspect of possibily to the request) or unsure (i.e. It might could
rain this afternoon.)
Hope this is of some use.
Jules D. Gliesche
glieschelonestar.utsa.edu
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