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Yall and yuns

A forum for discussing US dialects (accents).

Yall and yuns

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:02 pm

The reason I omit the apostrophe is because evidence strongly supports the conclusion that these original phrases have been reduced to single words which behave like pronouns (I, we, you, he, they) more than nouns or other parts of speech. If I am right, this means that the dialects that use them have repaired the confusion in the pronoun schema:

I . . . . . . . . we
you . . . . . you > yall, yuns, youse
s/he, it . . they

Language is always changing. It lives and breathes just like the people using it.
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Re: Yall and yuns

Postby gailr » Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:34 pm

Dr. Goodword wrote: you . . . . . you > yall, yuns, youse

Language is always changing. It lives and breathes just like the people using it.

Based on contemporary culture as reflected in movies or television, "youse" is a form of address for those who are soon to be no longer breathing...
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Postby skinem » Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:46 pm

Waddaya mean by dat? Fugedaboutit!
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Re: Yall and yuns

Postby sluggo » Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:57 pm

Dr. Goodword wrote:The reason I omit the apostrophe is because evidence strongly supports the conclusion that these original phrases have been reduced to single words which behave like pronouns (I, we, you, he, they) more than nouns or other parts of speech. If I am right, this means that the dialects that use them have repaired the confusion in the pronoun schema:

I . . . . . . . . we
you . . . . . you > yall, yuns, youse
s/he, it . . they

Language is always changing. It lives and breathes just like the people using it.


Doc, I don't follow- how does common use eliminate an apostrophe? Does not y'all still stand for you all? That could present some dilemmas in words such as we'll, he'll she'll...

Or is your point that the term would only be used in contracted form?
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Postby Ferrus » Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:56 pm

'Youse' is probably the best approximation to the manner in which 'you've' is pronounced in many parts of England.
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Postby Perry » Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:09 pm

Or is your point that the term would only be used in contracted form?

Ahm guessing that this is precisely his point.
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Postby sluggo » Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:09 pm

Ferrus wrote:'Youse' is probably the best approximation to the manner in which 'you've' is pronounced in many parts of England.


Eh? You mean V becomes S? What part of England would this be then?
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Postby Ferrus » Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:55 am

sluggo wrote:Eh? You mean V becomes S? What part of England would this be then?

Yes, in the West Midlands (mainly Black Country, less so Birmingham). As strange as that may seem they pronounce 'you' and 'yam'.
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Postby sluggo » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:20 pm

Perry wrote:
Or is your point that the term would only be used in contracted form?

Ahm guessing that this is precisely his point.


We'll sti'll, tha't doesnt seem like a basis for eliminating an apostrophe. This hain't been the evolution in the examples I/we/you/he or they- while ain't still sports it.
- = - = - =
Interesting pearl Ferrus- is there a dedicated colloquial you-plural in that area?
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Re: Yall and yuns

Postby beck123 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:56 am

sluggo wrote:
Dr. Goodword wrote:The reason I omit the apostrophe is because evidence strongly supports the conclusion that these original phrases have been reduced to single words which behave like pronouns (I, we, you, he, they) more than nouns or other parts of speech. If I am right, this means that the dialects that use them have repaired the confusion in the pronoun schema:

I . . . . . . . . we
you . . . . . you > yall, yuns, youse
s/he, it . . they

Language is always changing. It lives and breathes just like the people using it.


Doc, I don't follow- how does common use eliminate an apostrophe? Does not y'all still stand for you all? That could present some dilemmas in words such as we'll, he'll she'll...

Or is your point that the term would only be used in contracted form?


The apostrophe becomes a problem when the next, logical steps are taken with the new construction. If seen as a contraction, then a phrase like "Here are y'all's tickets" begins to accumulate too many apostrophes for our simple language. Using the phrase as a free-standing possessive pronoun, it reads "Here are yalls tickets," where "yall" is the root pronoun and "yalls" the possessive form in parallel with "her" and "hers," "their" and "theirs." And yet in this form, it seems to lack a needed apostrophe.

As I wrote elsewhere in the forum, my opinion is that we shouldn't be writing in this (or any) dialect, anyway; but people do, so I suppose it needs to be addressed.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:27 pm

I am not much for writing in dialects either.
With all the technology available, dialects should be
disappearing - TV, radio, etc. : we can hear each other
and speak to each other. This should ultimately
eliminate the Boston "drawl", southern stuff, midwestern
whatever. I will continue to use the apostrophe if ever
writing y'all, just as I will use it in "I'll".
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Postby beck123 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:09 pm

You go, Luke. I have to surrender my computer to my son for a while, as I consume episode 17 of the 5th season of "24." I'll be back later.
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Y'all

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:48 pm

And to that I will add "it's" when it is a verb.
As a teacher I subtracted points when a student used
"its" as a verb without the apostrophe. I don't believe
we should be
'REDUCING EVERYTHING TO THE LEAST
COMMON DENOMINATOR"
and if I am guilty of that by desiring loss of dialects, then
ok; but watering down the grammar is not the same
as learning to speak and write correctly.


(I am a "24" fan too, Beck)Great: I sure notice the
difference in Renee from her former self: of course 6
years in the Russian mob may have done some of that).
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Postby Slava » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:36 pm

As to the discussion over apostrophes and the like, read:

"Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by Lynne Truss.

Sub-title: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Postby beck123 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:55 pm

Could you link us all to that book on punctuation, please?

As for 24, I missed the second two-hour show, and I missed it this Monday, too. I am NOT a tv watcher, so I'm unaccustomed to timing my week or day or whatever around the tv schedule. I received seasons five and six on DVD for my birthday, and that's what I'm watching.

Since this is a language forum, What about the title, "24?"

I was taught not to use numerals at the beginning of a sentence, and it grates a little, even in a title. (Of course, I paid good money on numerous occasions to see "10" in the movies when I was a younger man without any syntactic or grammatical hesitation.) The rules I use now for numbers in a (non-technical) sentence are 1) Don't start a sentence with a numeral - spell it out, and 2) spell out the numbers "one" through "nine" and use numerals for 10 and above in the body of a sentence.

Is that about right?
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