Monday, June 15, 2009

ENA6 - some language variation data

Here's a quick 1a style question for ENA6 using some examples of regional/social variation. The question (in the usual style) is "Comment linguistically on three features of non-standard language use in the data list below".

Data list

She were wearing a mask.
What are yous guys up to?
Second prize don't exist.
What's tha been doing?
There was bare mans.

If you post your 3 features as comments below, I'll give some feedback.

17 comments:

Dan said...

Come on, there's got to be someone who can have a go at this...

chikara said...

'She were wearing a mask'The use of 'were' is a non-standard past tense form in this context because it refers to more than one person wearing the mask (plural)The past perfect 'was' should have been used.

'What are yous guys up to?'
Use of 2nd person plural pronoun 'you'followed by another plural is non-standard.

'There was bare mans'
Slang term 'bare' to mean 'a lot of'
Non-standard use of plural for man. Should have been 'There was a lot of men'

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

"She were wearing a mask."
The use of "were," used in this context, is a non-standard form of the past tense, referring to more than one person wearing the mask, where the first person plural "we" should have been used, instead of the third person singular "she." Instead of "were," the past perfect "was" should have been used.

"What are yous guys up to?"
The use of the second person plural pronoun "you" followed by another plural in "guys" is non-standard.

"What's tha been doing?"
A non-standard form of "that" has been used, where the "t" has been clipped to form "tha" a phonological form of the standard "that."

"There was bare mans."
Non standard form of "was," which is generally used with singular nouns, as well as a variety of pronouns. Instead, "were" should have instead been used, the past tense of "be."
The slang term "bare" has been used to refer to "a lot of."

Alex said...

she was wearing a mask (standard english)
the present tense 'WERE' is used instead of the standard past tense 'WAS'

'you' is a singular second person pronoun. lol where da adding of the suffix 's'forms 'yous' an makes it a non-standard utterance

fird example; 'doesn't exist' instead of 'don't' where the standard 'doesn't' is replaced by the non-standard 'don't'

forf one, doesn't sound english?
should be 'what have you been doing?'LOL
irregular 's' ending on 'what'
'tha' maybe the modern version of 'you'... made cool from the old fashioned 'thee...'' maybe from a different part of london (dialect difference??!)

5.'There were lots of men' instead of 'there was' cuz its not relly standard english. 'were' is the present and 'was' is in the past
and its referring to many people, so 'were' is probly more suitable
'bare;' means 'lots of,' (a slang term)
and the plural 'mans' is non-standard for the standard plural'men'

Dan said...

@Chikara
1. Everything good up to the last bit about past perfect (but you know that already).
2. Yes, "yous" is a non-standard 2nd person pronoun, used in some parts of the country to refer to more than one person.
3. "Bare" is more likely dialect/sociolect than slang, and "mans" is a non-standard plural.

So, I reckon 5/5 :-)

Dan said...

@Laura - what I said to Chikara above, plus...

"What's tha been doing?" - "tha" is a version of thou/thee that's used in parts of Yorkshire. The Kaiser Chiefs even use it in one song! Do young people still listen to the Kaiser Chiefs are am I even more out of touch than I thought?

Dan said...

@Alex, as above but you're right on thee/thou, except I've not heard Londoners using it (since 1654 or something...).

The "second prize don't exist" is similar to the first one, in that it's all about the subject and the verb agreement. In Standard English, you'd have a singular subject with a singular verb form, and a plural subject with a plural verb form. Does that make sense?

Laura said...

Thank you, this is actually really helping me. :]
Beth recommended I try the questions on the site. (She's my teacher!)

Dan said...

Good advice :-) Say hi to Beth!

Anonymous said...

Thanks sir!
I have forgotten why 'WAS' is the past simple :S

Alex said...

To verify Sir...'she was' and 'she were' are different because... if its Standard English...then the verb and subject agree with each other whereas if its not then they do not... so 'she' is the(singular subject form) and 'were' is the (plural verb form) so creates a disharmony, and that is why its not Standard English.

Zahra said...

She were wearing a mask.

This is non standard past tense. In standard english "were" would be "was". Were indicates a plural but they are talking about a single person.

"What are yous guys up to?"

Has an inflectional affix "s" on the end of "you" which shows possesion

"There was bare mans."

"Bare" is a broadening. The meaning of this spelling has been broadened from bare (as in naked) to slang bare (as in a lot). "mans" also has the suffix "s" which makes it pural.

Dan said...

@Alex yes that's it exactly - nicely put!

Dan said...

@Zahra that all sounds good but it's worth pointing out that "yous" isn't a possessive pronoun, but a non-standard plural pronoun (a bit like the tu/vous pronoun use for 2nd person on French, where vous is used for plurals).

Alex said...

Thank you. Now I can rest assured that that can be applied to all examples! Great.

Dan said...

@Alex - I hope so. Good luck tomorrow!