LINGUIST List 2.848

Fri 06 Dec 1991

Disc: Last Posting on NOT

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. mark, 2,828 post-affirmation freestanding "Not"
  2. , RE: 2.839 Not
  3. Claudia Brugman, Re: 2.839 Not
  4. Sarah Jones, RE: 2.839 Not
  5. Jules D. Gliesche, Re: 2.835 Names
  6. Fan mail from some flounder?, Not
  7. Eric Schiller, Re: 2.839 Not
  8. , NOT

Message 1: 2,828 post-affirmation freestanding "Not"

Date: Wed, 04 Dec 91 17:28:32 EST
From: mark <markdragonsys.com>
Subject: 2,828 post-affirmation freestanding "Not"
 A month or several ago I noticed my 15-year-old daughter Susannah
Mandel using this construction and asked her about it. She gave me a
one-line reference, which she has just expanded at my request in
response to Larry's query. I typed as she talked, and have edited the
result somewhat, subject to her approval. Here is her analysis.
This usage originated on the regular "Wayne's World" sketch on
Saturday Night Live. The sketch is supposedly a show on a local cable
station in Aurora, Illinois, produced by 2 college kids, Wayne (Mike
Myers) and his buddy Garth (Dana Carvey), out of Wayne's basement. It
features their teenage American dialect, peppered with terms such as
"Excellent!", "Party on, dude", "He shoots, he scores!"[context-
specific to the sketch], "Okayyy! Alll righht!", and this "Not!"
(Direct quotation of Susannah:) "Anyone hip enough to watch Saturday
Night Live will be able to use it. You can use it to cancel your own
statement in a self-derogatory way, or you can use it on somebody
else. It's not really insulting, more of a disagreement, meant to
express a difference of opinion (although Wayne and Garth are
insulting to each other, because it's their attitude)."
(1) Context: You and some friends see this guy walking by. One of
you says,
 "Oh God, he's really hot. (pause a few beats) NOT!!(very
 emphatic)"
and everybody laughs, everybody breaks up.
(2) Context: You're just walking along talking to someone.
 A: "I'll see you at the mall tonight."
 B: "Not.(in conversational tone) I'm grounded. I can't go."
I.e., no, you're wrong, I can't go.
To really insult someone's opinion you wouldn't use that, because it's
actually genial and friendly, even though on occasion you say it in a
loud, insulting voice. "It's really quite friendly; it's not
insulting... it's not, umm, *nasty*." It's insulting only when you
say it about someone else, not when you say it about your own
statement or the person you're talking to's. Everybody uses it in
form (1), but only some people use form (2); it's dialectal. People
are more likely to use it to negate their own statements than someone
else's. [Sounds like a classic Labovian implicational ordering.]
-- As further context, we live in Framingham, Massachusetts, a large
town in the suburban area between Boston and Worcester.
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Message 2: RE: 2.839 Not

Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1991 9:49:01 +0800 (SST)
From: <A_DENCHFENNEL.CC.UWA.OZ.AU>
Subject: RE: 2.839 Not
The use of NOT reported in the last few days (and I should point out
that this is totally alien to Australians - at least to date, but Bill
and Fred or whoever are onour big screens too) reminds me very much of
a pattern in some Australian languages. In Kurrama, Yinyjiparnti and
Panyjima (at least), of North West Western Australia, a declarative
statement can be followed by a raspberry - that is, an egressive
velaric bilabial trill (and it is velaric, in case you're wondering).
Or alternatively, by the word "thumpirr", in which the last consonant
is an alveolar trill, often voiceless and prolonged in this usage.
The word means fart, and perhaps the best characterisation is that
the speaker is indicating that the last statement was as if he (and I've only
heard men using this) were talking through his arse. It can be sarcastic,
ments and then back off from these. And it appears to me that sarcasm is, for
these people, quite outrageous, very impolite (to the point of dangerous),
and so needs some qualification.
Alan Dench
Linguistics
University of Western Australia
A_DENCHfennel.cc.uwa.oz.au
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Message 3: Re: 2.839 Not

Date: Wed, 4 Dec 91 16:44:34 PST
From: Claudia Brugman <brugmancrl.ucsd.edu>
Subject: Re: 2.839 Not
re S. Fisher's speculation that this is a californianism: I haven't heard
it among my students or my younger friends. (Of course, like all modern
literati, I've heard it on "Wayne's World" and the Budweiser commercial.)
--C. Brugman, UCSD
(and a lifelong Californian who bridles at these blanket accusations!)
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Message 4: RE: 2.839 Not

Date: Thu, 5 Dec 91 01:06:53 EST
From: Sarah Jones <SAAJONESucs.indiana.edu>
Subject: RE: 2.839 Not
While it may well be true that the current use of post-affirmative
"not" comes from Bill and Ted's Big Adventure/Wayne's World, it's
certainly not new.
As a young adolescent in the mid 60's, my peers and I (well, at least
the female peers) used this construction quite a lot. (This was a
in a small town in Iowa.) Does anyone know of/remember using
it prior to the 1960's?
Sarah Jones
Indiana University--Bloomington
saajonesiubacs.bitnet
saajonesucs.indiana.edu
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Message 5: Re: 2.835 Names

Date: Thu, 5 Dec 91 0:42:32 CST
From: Jules D. Gliesche <glieschelonestar.utsa.edu>
Subject: Re: 2.835 Names
I don't remember too much Czech, but I can certain vouch for the fact that
it is very common in German to put an article before someone's name. I don't
believe the perscriptive grammarians have accepted it yet, but in speech it's
very normal to speak of someone as "der Donald" or "die Ivana."
Seems logical that other languages would do this as well....as to the best of
my recollection Czech is one of these languages.
JG
--
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Message 6: Not

Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1991 09:45 EST
From: Fan mail from some flounder? <SDFNCRritvax.isc.rit.edu>
Subject: Not
I just had a thought. Maybe the source of S+Not is Hawaiian English. As
I recall, "Not" is used as a one-word response to deny what one's
interlocutor has just said.
Susan Fischer
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Message 7: Re: 2.839 Not

Date: Thu, 5 Dec 91 16:12:54 CST
From: Eric Schiller <schillersapir.uchicago.edu>
Subject: Re: 2.839 Not
...not!
Compare hawaiian creole english final ...but!
(See Pidgin to da max or any standard source).
Given the California Surf community interactions with the Hawaiian
surfers, who borrow expressions from Hawaiian Creole English, there
is a plausible borrowing source.
I make no claims, just a suggestion for researcgh - in the field,
if possible!
Eric Schiller
University of Chicago
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Message 8: NOT

Date: Fri, 06 Dec 91 13:10 CST
From: <TB0NRN1NIU.bitnet>
Subject: NOT
A correction of my original response to Larry Horn's query about
sarcastic post-affirmative NOT: I watched the movie BILL AND
TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE and found no examples of the
relevant construction, though it's the model for WAYNE'S
WORLD in many other ways, as my students reported, for
instance the phrase PARTY ON, and the overuse of EXCELLENT.
Apparently it can not only follow a pause, but even an
intervening turn by the addressee as in the constructed
sequence below.
 A: I really like that tie you're wearing.
 B: Gee, thanks.
 A: NOT!
Neal R. Norrick, tb0nrn1niu.bitnet
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