Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English


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Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English

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Jun 29, 2015, 4:14 pm

Is "I believe ain't nobody leavin'" ungrammatical? Maybe, apparently, it all depends on micro-syntax.



Jun 29, 2015, 4:40 pm

An interesting article. Seems to hinge on your idea of whether grammar is inherent to a language, or inherent to an individual's understanding of how to communicate. When enough individuals share a given rule, it becomes its own grammar (regional or "micro-syntax"), as opposed to being an instance of people not speaking correctly.

I've always tended to the latter view: if you're understood, you're speaking "correctly". Speaking inappropriately for the social context is relevant, but is different from the question of correct / incorrect usage. But I know, that implies every mistake is also always a potential new micro-syntax in development ....