"=?win-1250?Q?Tamás_Racskó?=" wrote: > On the other side, I used an English parallelism to a French > double negative phrase to demonstrate for Anglosphones that these > phrases are not single "linguistic units". It was a simple example > and I think it was intelligible. From this point of view, the > present state of "ain't do nothing" is indifferent. Well, it's not an exact analogy. _pas_ in ne ... pas doesn't have any inherent meaning in Modern French (except, perhaps, negation), whereas both "ain't" and "nothing" do. Of course, the fact that you can replace _pas_ with other forms like _jamais_ weakens the view of them as a single unit. However, suppose, for the sake of argument, that in French you *never* had _ne_ without _pas_, and vice versa, never had _pas_ without _ne_. *Then*, it would make sense to refer to ne ... pas as a single unit. > On the third side, you wrote on 17 May: >>"ain't doing nothing" > does occur in many varieties of English (the formal equivalent is: > am/are/is not doing anything).<< Probably you've omitted the > particle "not" in this sentence by an accidental mistyping, but I > took it as it is, i.e. the opposition to your above statement: > >>*"ain't do nothing" does not occur in any variety of English<<. What Ray Brown meant was that the exact for "ain't do nothing" doesn't occur in English. The form "Ain't do*ing* nothing" or "ain't done nothing" does occur. > For me, it was an inherent statement in your argument. I do hear > _vernacular_ Anglophones saying "ain't do nothing". You sure it's not "ain't doing nothing" or "ain't done nothing"? I can't think of any time I've ever heard "ain't do". "Ain't doing" or "ain't done", yes, but not "ain't *do*". Doesn't mean it doesn't occur, just that it doesn't occur in English varieties *I*'m familiar with. > (If it's not English, in what language does Eric Clapton sing his > song "Ain't nobody's business if I do"..?) Eh? That's not the phrase "ain't do nothing". It uses "ain't" and a double negative (neither of which Ray Brown was contesting), but it doesn't use "ain't" followed by the base form "do".