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From:    Joe <[log in to unmask]>
> Costentin Cornomorus wrote:
> >Why does tha think English has half ass patches
> >like "y'all" to begin with?
>
> I suppose part of it is a natural result of hijacking number
> distinctions for politeness distinctions.  Sometimes.  After people
> started to get all polite to everyone, the singular just vanished, I
> suppose.  To be etymologically correct, perhaps 'y'one' would make more
> sense.  ;-)

In fact, in parts of West Virginia and Ohio, the second persons
plural pronoun is [j@nz] (< 'you ones').  I expect this will die
out along with "you guys" as "y'all" pushes out all competitors
within a century or two, at the latest.  (Heck, "y'all" is already
all over the Midwest.)

 =========================================================================
Thomas Wier            "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally,
Dept. of Linguistics    because our secret police don't get it right
University of Chicago   half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of
1010 E. 59th Street     Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter.
Chicago, IL 60637