LINGUIST List 4.767

Tue 28 Sep 1993

Disc: Y'all

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. Christian S. Collberg, yall
  2. Paul T Kershaw, y'all
  3. "Anne M Loring-1", Re: 4.759 Y'all
  4. , Re: 4.759 Y'all

Message 1: yall

Date: Mon, 27 Sep 93 12:53 MET
From: Christian S. Collberg <Christian.Collbergdna.lth.se>
Subject: yall


>From "How to Speak Southern" by Steve Mitchell (ISBN
0-553-13705-0):

 Yawl: A useful Southern word that
 is consistently misused by North-
 erners when they try to mimic
 a Southern accent, which they do with
 appalling regularity. Yawl is always
 plural because it means you-all, or
 all of you. It is never - repeat,
 never - used in reference to only
 one person. At least not by South-
 erners. ``Where yawl goin'?''

Christian
Christian.Collbergdna.lth.se
Department of Computer Science, Lund University, BOX 118, S-221 00 LUND, Sweden
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Message 2: y'all

Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1993 15:54:47 y'all
From: Paul T Kershaw <kershawpstudent.msu.edu>
Subject: y'all

Scanning the most recent posting, I noticed references to y'all meaning
"everyone present" (even if only one is present). I'm a Northerner (Michigan,
although I spent my first year in Missouri), and that's not how I use y'all at
all. Rather, I frequently use it when addressing a single person to refer to
some group they belong to (perhaps a company). For instance, if I have to talk
to a service rep over the phone, and don't know if it was the same rep I talked
to yesterday, I'll say, "Y'all told me yesterday that..." (or "You guys ...").
So, for me at least, y'all is not limited to present company.
-- Paul Kershaw, MiSU
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Message 3: Re: 4.759 Y'all

Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1993 16:52:39 Re: 4.759 Y'all
From: "Anne M Loring-1" <loringmaroon.tc.umn.edu>
Subject: Re: 4.759 Y'all

Also respectfully, try substituting other English pronouns for "y'all" in
 "Y'all all need to calm down"

Look: *I all need to calm down
 *You (singular) all need to calm down
 *He/she/it all need to calm down
 We all need to calm down
 You (plural) all need to calm down
 They all need to calm down

Sure looks like a pattern to me. So, is "y'all" singular or plural?

Anne Loring
U of MN
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Message 4: Re: 4.759 Y'all

Date: Mon, 27 Sep 93 18:50:10 CDRe: 4.759 Y'all
From: <jlillymerle.acns.nwu.edu>
Subject: Re: 4.759 Y'all

In reply to the question concerning whether "all of y'all" is bad when
sentence-initial:
 The construction is fine (at least it is where I come from), and
I have heard it quite often
in casual speech. However, it sounds more like "All - a - y'all" when spoken.
I think that the intended construction does include the word "of" (from asking
people to slow down I have heard the "of" pronounced quite clearly.) Of
course, I can only refer to what I heard living in Southern Kentucky; there
seem to be several "local" rules when using y'all constructions.
 And I do stand by my convictions that y'all can refer to one person -
I heard it all the time while living in Kentucky - but perhaps (as a
transplanted "Northerner") I just noticed the construction more because I had
never heard it in Eastern Pennsylvania (which, as all of us southerners know,
is way beyond the "y'all/youse guys line."
 In another matter related to southern dialects, I am wondering if anyone
(and particularly those who live in the south), thinks that the following
sentences sound bad:
 "Do you want to come with?"
 "Can I go with?"
 Sentences that end in "with" with no object seem to be "bad" in
Southern Kentucky, yet when I use these
constructions in the Chicago area they are fine. In Kentucky the sentence
only sounds good if the preposition has an object, such as:
 "Do you want to come with me?"
 Any feedback on this?
Jacqueline L. Lilly
Northwestern University
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