Items of dialect heard…..

Today I was talking to a Phoenix native whose mother was from Louisiana. His speech is recognizably African-American Vernacular English and his education level is high school or so. In his speech today he used two words whose pronunciations are often noted in the literature:
gie for give, as in ’they can gie you the…..’
civer for cover (rhymes with ’river’)

This same person illustrated the principle Pinker talks about in The Language Instinct when he said “I weedeated the last time” for ’used the weedeater’. That is, he was transforming the word ’weedeater’, a brand name, into a verb. But, as Pinker describes, the word ’eat’ does not mean ’eat’ in its usual sense, its lexical sense, where the past tense is irregular ’ate’.

Here it is used in a metaphorical sense (I need a better word for that sense transfer) and so is not accessed by the brain as a separate lexical item ’ate’ but rather as a new verb, ’weedeat’, and so is regular in its past formation.

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