Syntactic differences between dialects of English

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Do support with auxiliaries in ellipsis

  • "Do you think we should try to get Mikel involved?"
    Fran's response: "We can do"
    JNW's response: "We can [ / do that / try / *do]"
  • "And actually, we need to make this a lot smaller"
    Fran's response: "Yeah we can do"
    JNW's response: "Yeah, we can [ / do that / try / *do]"

Lexical differences

  • "put the piss on X" = ???
  • "peabrain" has no bullying connotations, just ласкательные
  • "hob" = stove/cooktop
  • "cooker" = range/~stove/~oven
  • "beermat" = paper/cardboard coaster
  • "coaster" = coasters that aren't cardboard/paper
  • "sport(s)" = sports
  • "maths" = math
  • "carpark" = parking lot
  • "white goods" = appliances
  • "pressurise" = put pressure on, pressure (v.t.)
  • "mark" = grade (v.) or point (n.)
  • "ropy" = not so great quality
  • "fed up of" = fed up with
  • "agree" for "agree to", e.g. "agreed a $1.5bn expansion"

Unacceptable forms

  • "traffic circle"
  • "cooktop"


ABraver's English shall henceforth be called "ABrE"

Argument order

  • "replace"
    • To show that item A has taken the place of item B, both of the following are acceptable in ABrE:
      • I replaced item A with item B
      • I replaced item B with item A
    • But:
      • Item A was replaced by item B
      • # Item B was replaced by item A



  • abraver: [ɻejgjɯlɻ]
  • jonw: [ɻɛgjɯlɻ]

[and for the record, jonw is stupid]


Tristan's dialect of AusE.

Argument of "stop"

  •  %"but will usually stop other places if hailed"

Aspectual differences

  • *"Did you eat yet?" ("Have you eaten yet?")
  • —whereas JNW: √"Did you eat yet?" ("Have you eaten yet?")

"That one"

  • "I didn't want that one either, oh well" (as person puts ketchup on a wrap)
  • —whereas JNW: "I didn't want that stuff either, oh well"
  • apparent grammaticalised use of "that one" as a demonstrative, whereas JNWEnglish differentiates between "that one" and "that stuff", and if grammaticalised, are grammaticalised separately for mass and count nouns

"Meant to" vs "Supposed to"

JNW has some distinction here that TAMcL doesn't have.

"Wonder about"

  • *"I wonder about why the sky is blue". The word "about" doesn't work there...


  • (15:13:04) kesuari: so "/bat@/ butter is how i pronounce what you say as /bVtr/" would have the entire phrase up until "as" in italics
  • In TaMclE, this could mean that "as" either is in italics or not (i.e. ambiguous)
  • In TaMclE, to disambiguate and let "as" be in italics, "up until the end of 'as'" would be used
  • In JNWE, the word "as" would not be in italics.
  • In JNWE, the word "as" would be in italics if the preposition "through" were used instead of "until"

Other people

Things that other people say that freak me out that they're grammatical


isogloss explanation JNWE ABrE TaMclE MTE
scarf (down) v.t. eat (consume) very crudely *
scoff down v.t. eat (consume) very crudely *
scarf/scoff away at v. crudely eat away at *
scarf/scoff n. food; grub * *
scarf/scoff v.i. eat (intransitive!) * *
cark it die * *
wonder about + wh-relativiser *
did...yet *
rinky-dink might fall apart easily *
on the lake by/near the lake, not "on" it *
ride in a car *