LINGUIST List 2.672

Thu 17 Oct 1991

Disc: (S)he goes

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Directory

  1. Fan mail from some flounder?, Re: 2.667 'He goes'
  2. "ALICE FREED", RE: 2.667 'He goes'
  3. William J. Rapaport, Re: 2.667 'He goes'
  4. Barbara Johnstone, Re: 2.667 'He goes'
  5. , Re: 2.667 'He goes'

Message 1: Re: 2.667 'He goes'

Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1991 09:15 EST
From: Fan mail from some flounder? <SDFNCRritvax.isc.rit.edu>
Subject: Re: 2.667 'He goes'
I've done a little data collection and analysis of "I'm like," and "He's
like." I think it's different from "go" in that "go" is really a verb of
quotation, whereas "like" involves at best paraphrase, and in the case
of "I'm like" can simply reveal the person's thoughts rather than words
(these observations are of people 18-30 -- "like" may have evolved further
in the younger generation). So you get sentences like (1)
(1) I'm like "Give me a break."
where the person may have said nothing at all. This isn't exactly my area,
so if there's published stuff on this, I'd like to know about it.
Susan Fischer
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Message 2: RE: 2.667 'He goes'

Date: 16 Oct 91 10:27:00 EST
From: "ALICE FREED" <freedapollo.montclair.edu>
Subject: RE: 2.667 'He goes'
There was a paper given as LSA last January by Kathleen Ferrara
and Barbara Bell (Texas A&M Univ) on the use of _ be + like_ as
a dialogue introducer. It seems more widespread than just a
"story" introducer. In taped conversations which I am analyzing
between pairs of female students and pairs of male students, it
is the "normal" way of introducing past dialogue. My otherwise
articulate nine year old son has it well established in his speech.
His middle-aged parents use neither this nor even the older form
_go_ to introduce dialogue.
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Message 3: Re: 2.667 'He goes'

Date: Wed, 16 Oct 91 12:36:45 EDT
From: William J. Rapaport <rapaportcs.Buffalo.EDU>
Subject: Re: 2.667 'He goes'
I, too, have noticed that teenagers seem to use the VP "to be like" to
mean "to say". When I've pointed it out to them, they vehemently deny
that they ever do it!
			William J. Rapaport
			Associate Professor of Computer Science
			Center for Cognitive Science
Dept. of Computer Science||internet: rapaportcs.buffalo.edu
SUNY Buffalo		 ||bitnet: rapaportsunybcs.bitnet
Buffalo, NY 14260	 ||uucp: {rutgers,uunet}!cs.buffalo.edu!rapaport
(716) 636-3193, 3180 ||fax: (716) 636-3464
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Message 4: Re: 2.667 'He goes'

Date: Wed, 16 Oct 91 17:58:24 CDT
From: Barbara Johnstone <H560BJtamvm1.tamu.edu>
Subject: Re: 2.667 'He goes'
I understand that a paper on "be like" as a quotative by Suzanne
Romaine is to appear shortly in American Speech. Kathleen Ferrara
and Barbara Bell (Dept. of English, Texas A&M University, College
Station, TX 77843) presented a paper on this topic at the 1990 LSA.
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Message 5: Re: 2.667 'He goes'

Date: Wed, 16 Oct 91 19:43:13 -0700
From: <tshannongarnet.berkeley.edu>
Subject: Re: 2.667 'He goes'
Sorry to add mere fuel to the fire of young people's storytelling
gambits, but I have to mention one more usage for "say" or whatever.
A couple of years ago in a course on German (!) linguistiics an
undergraduate (sophomore, I believe) asked why some people used "all"
to mean "say". When I looked at him puzzled, he pointed out that his
younger siblings (!) and their friends used this (to him, absurdly
strange) formula, as in: "He says to me, 'Let's go to see that film.'
and I say: 'Naw, I don't have the time.' and my girlfriend's _all_
"Oh, don' you really want to see it? It's super cool!" [or whatever
the appropriate term of approbation would have been]
I had assumed it was only used to express, as in the above example,
someone's effusively expressed opinion, urging, etc., but he assured
me that his siblings' crowd simply used it all the time to express
what the speaker said, without any necessary urgent or emotive tone.
Other students (from the same vicinity, which, I believe was somewhere
south of the Bay Area [shades of "Valley talk"??!]) confirmed the usage.
It also appeared to be strictly (?) limited to narration of direct
discourse ("quotative"). I've never heard it used myself, but then
again, I probably don't hang around with the right crowd!
Has anyone else heard of this wide a usage for "I'm/You're/He's
all..."?
tom shannon
tshannongarnet.berkeley.edu
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