The American Language - Chapter 9.4 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 9.4 Summary

After offering a chart of inflected pronouns, listed by case, Mencken discusses the variations. He states that the only variations from standard English revealed in the chart are 1) the substitution of n for s - in words such as yours, which becomes yourn; and 2) an attempt at differentiation between logical and polite plurals by adding the "usual sign of the plural" to second person pronouns. First, to show that n replacing s is not an American innovation, the author shows a survey over time, revealing how such tendencies are found as far back as 1380, in John Wycliffe's Bible translation. Itis more apparent thereafter in Chaucer, in the Anglo Saxon orthography, and in modern American speech, such as in the Southern dialects. Next, to show the tendency of adding s to you in the nominative and objective of the second person plural is done to clarify...

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This section contains 1,057 words
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The American Language from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.