A body – My grandmother

I am revising this post somewhat, not taking out or changing anything, just adding to it. I have a list of words my grandmother used from her Appalachian dialect. Here are a few:

directly for right away

I reckon and suspect for I guess

“What could a body do?”
That use of the word body was the norm for my grandmother, an Appalachian person born in 1876. In current SE it could be replaced by ‘anybody,’ but I’m not sure it is a complete match i.e. synonym. Therefore, it is not a noun but a pronoun. Of course, it is not listed as that ordinarily but I would guess that to find that in a language like Kweyol as ‘cor’ meaning, from French ‘corps’, self  [insert examples from St. Lucian Kweyol], we see it labeled a pronoun. BTW, in Kweyol it also means ‘body.’

The most obvious example is English -ly forming adverbs, equivalent to German -lich, as in naturally and naturlich. It is from a common German word meaning ‘body.’

All of these are examples of a linguistic process called grammaticalization whereby a word submerges its lexical meaning to take on a role as a grammar feature. Other examples are vector verbs in Indic languages where ‘stay’ is grammaticalized to be used with verb to impart a sense of ‘keeping on’ or just ‘-ing’ as in vo kar raha hay he is doing. Another is ‘pour’ which gives the action of the verb a decidedly violent, sudden sense, as in vo ws ko kaaT Daalaa he slashed it, literally he it cut poured. I hope those examples are right. I’ll check them out.

Grammaticalization is a linguistic process that particularly fascinates me, that and middle voice.

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