September 25, 2012

Linguists unearth new version of 'y'all'

Exciting news from the world of dialectical archaeology

'Anyone-uh Y'all' added to Y'all Vernacular Hierarchy

For Immediate Release
Contact: Rev. Torey Lightcap

MOBILE, AL -- The Great Southern North American Society of Verbalizers today announced a previously unearthed variant on the hallowed Southern slang term "y'all."

"Today, we are overjoyed to have officially added 'Anyone-uh y'all' to the Y'all Vernacular Hierarchy, or the YVH," GSNASV President Dr. Janet Perkins said at the keynote of the group's annual conference. "This development takes us a step further into both the necessity and the legitimacy of 'y'all' as an acceptable - and may we say more colorful - variant of the flatter 'you' so much of the world knows so well."

The discovery of "Anyone-uh y'all" represents the yearning of linguists over many years to arrive at a completed field theory of "y'all." It joins an already crowded morphological matrix, including the base term "y'all" (second person singular or plural depending on who may be in the room and/or listening), "all y'all" (generally addressed to a group in its entirety), and parallel possessive constructions "y'all's" and "all y'all's," with their unique second apostrophes. (Tackling the many nuances of "Anyone-uh y'all's" will be the subject of the GSNASV's spring conference.)

"'Anyone-uh y'all' posits a defined space between an individual and a group where both are present," Perkins said. "While the collective is recognized, the syntax stresses one who is part of a group. This is clearly new territory and we are just feeling our way through it at this time."

In a subsequent session, Perkins and paper coauthor Dr. Morgan Swanson cited as evidence "something [that has been] under our noses all this time" -- the sixth chapter of the Gospel According to John.

"The precise phrasing of 'Jesus asked the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?"' has been offered as concrete proof for the existence of 'Anyone-uh y'all,'" Swanson said. "John makes it clear that the whole field is "all y'all," yet the implied recipient is not the group, but any one member of the Twelve - an "anyone" defined over and against the many."

In light of this textual evidence, "Anyone-uh y'all" has been informally nicknamed The One in Twelve.

Not everyone in Mobile was so breathless today.

"Anyone-uh y'all will certainly have its detractors," said conference attendee Dr. Stendahl July, Flannery O'Connor Professor of Archaeological Linguistics and head of the English Department at Piney Woods University in southwest Louisiana. "We are method-trained not to take these matters on faith, and they require proof of the highest order, using recent and unbiased methodology. I'd say "one in twelve" well approximates its total chance of making it into any textbook in my classroom."

Meanwhile, the world burned.


1 comment:

Meredith Gould said...

What I've learned since moving to Baltimore, MD: Peace be with y'all, y'all.