[PLUG-TALK] Multiple negation and English

Paul Heinlein heinlein at madboa.com
Tue Dec 24 14:13:15 PST 2019


On Tue, 24 Dec 2019, John Jason Jordan wrote:

> A fundamental principle of linguistics is that all languages and 
> their varieties are equally effective at expressing the needs of 
> their speakers. Therefore, if you use multiple negation in English 
> it is perfectly grammatical.

What I find interesting is how people define the scale of "their 
speakers." For some, it's geographic -- most often a nation-state, but 
sometimes an extra-national region like North America. For others, 
it's racial. For still others, it's socio-economic.

The underlying moral question seems to be, with whom do I want to 
share my linguistic identity?

Once that question is answered, there need to be implicit or explicit 
rules about transgressive vs. acceptable avenues of linguistic change.

It's all so hard... :-)

-- 
Paul Heinlein
heinlein at madboa.com
45°38' N, 122°6' W


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