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Your guys's

英語を勉強している方のためのフォーラムです。練習のために英語の文章を投稿してもかまわなく、英語の文法・語彙に関する質問をしてもけっこうです。

Re: Your guys's

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 05.21.2008 9:30 am

How can this really be taken seriously. I mean we all know that none of the above are the proper way, it's just the way that many decide to speak, whether because of ignorance or through constant use based on dialect etc.

The deeper in the south you get, the more convoluted grammar becomes. And in most cases that convoluted grammar came about from uneducated story tellers and yarn weavers that shared their not so subtle dialect by word of mouth. It's not proper, but it's amazing how much impact it has had on our culture.
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Re: Your guys's

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 05.21.2008 9:39 am

Yeah, sorry -- mabye I should have made that more clear. "guys's" is indeed pronounced "guyses" (or "guyzes" or however you want to phonetically spell it).

Like I said, it's odd because that "guyses" thing only shows up in "your guys's". If you divide into teams of guys and girls, it would be "the guys' team", not "the guys's team". My suspicion is that "you guys" has become lexicalized and because it's the only two-word pronoun, it interacts with English grammar in strange ways -- the brain wants to hear "Can I use your..." rather than "Can I use you...", despite there being another word after it. That does not explain the "guys's", though.

How can this really be taken seriously.


Remember, I'm in linguistics. Improper grammar is always a potential research topic. :) By analyzing "improper" or "ignorant" dialectal features, you can almost always find their source in older forms of the language, or they actually end up following a normal grammatical principle that happens not to exist in the standard language. Very few, if any, dialect features are truly random, following no rule or reason at all.

It really just depends on what the context is. If you're trying to speak formally, write a formal paper, or anything like that, then most dialectal features are wrong and should be assiduously avoided. But studying dialectal features and analyzing why they exist and how they are used, besides being interesting in itself, can often shed a lot of light on older forms of the language, and language in general.

For instance, Samuel Martin's monumental "The Japanese Language Through Time" analyzed a large amount of dialect data to assist a reconstruction of the pronunciation and accent of older forms of Japanese.
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Re: Your guys's

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 05.21.2008 9:53 am

Oh, I am not trying to discount your question Chris, more I was responding to shirasagi's comment. While I never had the opportunity to get a degree in linguistics, I also like to find the base of a language myself. I tried to do that as often as I could while I was a missionary in Japan, unfortunately for me, I did not have much time for casual study outside the scriptures and dedicated vocabulary studies.

For me, even the ignorant dialects, uneducated dialects and things like ebonics, etc make English all that much more colorful. Could you imagine the story of Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox told in the Queen's English? It just wouldn't work. Could you imagine the song shortn'n bread sang in proper English?
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Re: Your guys's

Postby AJBryant » Wed 05.21.2008 2:38 pm

Shirasagi wrote:You aren't actually suggesting a standard English orthographic convention on non-standard English, are you? :wink: Besides, I believe Chris is quite aware of correct apostrophe usage, and is using "guys's" to represent the pronunciation "guys-es".



Oh, I get that. But the educated would never *say* "guys-es."

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Re: Your guys's

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 05.21.2008 3:58 pm

AJBryant wrote:
Shirasagi wrote:You aren't actually suggesting a standard English orthographic convention on non-standard English, are you? :wink: Besides, I believe Chris is quite aware of correct apostrophe usage, and is using "guys's" to represent the pronunciation "guys-es".



Oh, I get that. But the educated would never *say* "guys-es."

Tony


according to Southern dialect, a gentleman would say "you all," and would offer Bourbon .. :twisted:
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Re: Your guys's

Postby JaySee » Wed 05.21.2008 6:10 pm

I think it would be interesting to compare this to the Japanese situation. On this forum some people seem to think that there is only one form of 'correct' English, and anything that deviates from this form - even in spoken language - is wrong and therefore looked down upon (i.e. Tony's assertion that people using 'your guys's' are uneducated).

I'm not sure if this would count as thread hijacking, but I wonder if a Japanese uses non-standard forms like 'wakarahen' or 'wakaran' instead of 'wakaranai' in spoken language, whether this would also generally be considered uneducated and and wrong by people who do know how to speak 'properly', or whether it would just be accepted as an often used non-standard form/dialect. I personally have the feeling - although I'm not really sure, correct me if I'm wrong - that in Japan dialectal and non-standard forms in the spoken language are more accepted than they are in the English speaking world (or in the Dutch speaking world for that matter), although I do know that Kansai-ben is often used in TV-shows for comical effect.
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Re: Your guys's

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 05.21.2008 6:42 pm

Just like in English, there are dialects that are considered uneducated and those that aren't. "wakarahen" is usually OK because Kansai dialect is fairly prestigious. The "be" ending that Tochigi, Ibaraki, and other dialects use is less prestigious and has a hickish or uneducated feel to it.

There are language purists in Japan, though -- the term 乱れ日本語 is a term used to denigrate certain aspects of casual speech that don't match with the standard language (標準語). As in English, what is considered 乱れ日本語 varies from person to person.
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Re: Your guys's

Postby chikara » Wed 05.21.2008 8:22 pm

Shirasagi wrote:You aren't actually suggesting a standard English orthographic convention on non-standard English, are you? :wink: Besides, I believe Chris is quite aware of correct apostrophe usage, and is using "guys's" to represent the pronunciation "guys-es".

Fair suck of the sav, you can't be dinkum :shock:
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Re: Your guys's

Postby becki_kanou » Wed 05.21.2008 10:24 pm

AJBryant wrote:Oh, I get that. But the educated would never *say* "guys-es."


I don't know about that. Yudan Taiteki has said that he uses it, and he certainly seems well educated. I also use it in casual conversation and I would consider myself to be educated. I think perhaps it would be better to say that the educated would never use it in formal speech, as they are aware (consciously or unconsciously) of register and prestige vs. non-prestige speech.

I certainly wouldn't say "your guys-es" when making a presentation to my boss, but I might very well use it when just hanging out at home with friends. Just as in Japanese I might say to a customer 「申し訳ございませんが、わたくしには分かりかねます。」 but hanging out with friends at the 居酒屋 I'd say 「ごめんやけど、わからんわ。」As the Japanese are so fond of saying, it all depends on TPO.
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Re: Your guys's

Postby AJBryant » Thu 05.22.2008 1:50 am

becki_kanou wrote:I don't know about that. Yudan Taiteki has said that he uses it, and he certainly seems well educated.


But he wasn't educated *out* of it.

Like all those people who somehow seem to be able to graduate from high school without learning how to make object and verb number agree, or learn the proper way to use past perfect (it's "had gone" -- not "had went"!). There *is* a standard of English usage, and it seems that schools just aren't teaching grammar anymore.

It used to be a mark of financial/educational failure *not* to speak properly, but in the past thirty years or so it has all gone down the flusher, and now people with college degrees (!) and who are teachers themselves (!!) are saying "guys-es" without ever having been educated to the point that they have internalized that THAT IS WRONG.

I certainly wouldn't say "your guys-es" when making a presentation to my boss, but I might very well use it when just hanging out at home with friends.


See, I don't think *I* would. I don't think I *could.*

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Re: Your guys's

Postby becki_kanou » Thu 05.22.2008 2:19 am

AJBryant wrote:Like all those people who somehow seem to be able to graduate from high school without learning how to make object and verb number agree, or learn the proper way to use past perfect (it's "had gone" -- not "had went"!). There *is* a standard of English usage, and it seems that schools just aren't teaching grammar anymore.

It used to be a mark of financial/educational failure *not* to speak properly, but in the past thirty years or so it has all gone down the flusher, and now people with college degrees (!) and who are teachers themselves (!!) are saying "guys-es" without ever having been educated to the point that they have internalized that THAT IS WRONG.
Tony


I think we'll have to agree to disagree here; I tend to take a much more descriptivist approach and think that as long as you can use the standard prestige dialect when it's called for, there's no need to be overly concerned about it in casual speech.

As to your second point: " Is our children's learnin' ? ", I can only say "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose". People have been complaining about "the kids these days" since time immemorial and if language didn't change we'd still all be speaking PIE or some such.
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Re: Your guys's

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 05.22.2008 8:10 am

AJBryant wrote:
becki_kanou wrote:I don't know about that. Yudan Taiteki has said that he uses it, and he certainly seems well educated.


But he wasn't educated *out* of it.


I think I've been sufficiently educated to realize that "your guys's" is inappropriate in most cases, but is fine in casual speech with other people close to my own age. I am able to both speak and write properly when the situation requires it, which is enough for me.
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Re: Your guys's

Postby AJBryant » Thu 05.22.2008 8:41 am

Oh, I get that, Chris.

And for the record, my problem isn't with you at all -- it's the general quality of education in America these days. you just happened to remind me of the issue.

For the record, although we have divergent views on a few points of grammatic orthodoxy and heterodoxy, I think the world of you. You're a spiff guy, and you're doing some *very* cool things.


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Re: Your guys's

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 05.22.2008 10:54 am

Well, the feeling is mutual. :)

I agree that grammar teaching is disfunctional in schools currently; I wish they would incorporate more modern linguistics into the teaching, rather than just teaching out of style books. Some of the grammatical analysis of English that is used in classes is long outdated.
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Re: Your guys's

Postby AJBryant » Thu 05.22.2008 12:30 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:Well, the feeling is mutual. :)

I agree that grammar teaching is disfunctional in schools currently; I wish they would incorporate more modern linguistics into the teaching, rather than just teaching out of style books. Some of the grammatical analysis of English that is used in classes is long outdated.


We agree again. :)

My whole frustration with the quality of the educational system is just being fueled by seeing posts all over the place (not so much here, but in other fora I inhabit) where people who, if not have actually having been through college are at least high school grads, continually use apostrophes to mark plurals (e.g., "I have two car's" or "I love banana's") and who constantly misuse their/they're/there, write "would of" instead of the correct "would have" or "would've", and so on.

Had I been their teachers, they never would have gotten high school diplomas ("diploma's" -- ick!) as long as they were writing like that.

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