Inscrit le: 16 Dec 2012
Lieu: Lancashire - Angleterre
|écrit le Sunday 30 Jun 13, 0:25
|Jacques a écrit
|Usage de "Aren't I? "(incorrect) au lieu "Am I not?" (correct). Dans cette faute, le verbe n'est pas accordé, en personne, avec le sujet ("Est-ce que je ne le es pas?").
Je dois ajouter que "aren't I?" est une faute rare, mais que l'on note chez les gens de langue maternelle anglaise, comme "I have went" au lieu de "I have gone".
Ain't I est la forme familière de aren't I.
L'emploi de aren't I? n'est pas une "faute", et il n'est pas "rare".
Par ailleurs, si ain't I? est maintenant perçu comme une "forme familière" de aren't I?, du point de vue de l'évolution phonétique, il s'agit de deux formes parallèles.
Oxford English Dictionary :
|The contraction aren’t is used in standard English to mean ‘am not’ in questions, as in I’m right, aren’t I?
The more logical form amn’t is now non-standard and restricted to Scottish, Irish, and dialect use.
Outside questions, it is incorrect to use aren’t to mean ‘am not’ (for example, I aren’t going is clearly wrong).
The use of ain’t was widespread in the 18th century, typically as a contraction for am not.
It is still perfectly normal in many dialects and informal speech in both Britain and North America.
Today, however, it does not form part of standard English and should never be used in formal or written contexts.
(Pour l'anecdote, mon épouse, qui est du Lancashire, prononce ain't I? mais écrit aren't I?)
Voici tout d'abord ce que dit l'étymologiste Michael Quinion sur son site World Wide Words :
|There was a pronunciation of an’t, in which the vowel was drawn out and somewhat drawled. Eventually this led to the spelling pronunciation aren’t, with the r silent, a form for which we have little evidence before the twentieth century.
It explains why aren’t I exists, which is otherwise a puzzle, since there’s no obvious way that it could have been formed from am I not. Despite dislike of it by some stylists, aren’t I has become accepted in standard English as the successor to an’t and as a respectable alternative to ain’t.
Pour écrire ce qui suit, je me suis principalement aidé de The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, 1991 (page 7 et suivantes).
C'est long, je sais, car c'est chronologique - mais il y a, entre autres, l'explication de la graphie aren't I? et de la forme ain't.
ABOUT AREN'T AND AIN'T
The Restoration period - after 1660 - gives the first printed evidence of several negative contractions that had come into spoken use during the 17th century.
Some of these contractions look unfamiliar now: ben’t, an’t, en’t, han’t - they have either been replaced by others or have gone out of use. But the others are familiar to us: can’t, shan’t, won’t, don’t.
The first printed evidence of an’t (sometimes given an extra apostrophe to make a’n’t) comes from a Restoration comedy, in which it means am not:
Miss Prue: You need not seat so near one, if you have any thing to say, I can hear you farther off, I an’t deaf.
Ben: Why that’s true as you say, nor I an’t dumb, I can be heard as far another.
William Congreve - Love for Love - 1695
The following year, also from a Restoration comedy, an’t means are not:
Hark thee, shoemaker, these shoes a'n't ugly, but they don't fit me.
Sir John Vanbrugh - The relapse - 1696
- How an’t came to be used for am not:
Am not was contracted to amn’t - a contraction still used in Irish and Scottish English - and the sounds m and n were combined.
- How an’t came to be used for are not:
In the principal British dialects, the r would not have been pronounced.
And the a of are was not pronounced then as it is today. It must have been close enough in sound to am that writers were satisfied to use the same spelling for both meanings.
There is the evidence of rhymes.
For example, John Donne (1572–1631), in some of his poems, rhymed are with words such as bare and care, which do not rhyme among themselves in present-day English.
But they must all have been close enough to make rhymes in Donne’s time.
In Satire IV (“Well; I may now receive, and die”):
One, whom the watch, at noon, lets scarce go by;
One, to whom th’ examining justice sure would cry,
‘Sir, by your priesthood, tell me what you are.’
His clothes were strange, though coarse, and black, though bare;
Sleeveless his jerkin was, and it had been
Velvet, but ’twas now—so much ground was seen—
And, in Ode:
I. VENGEANCE will sit above our faults ; but till
She there do sit,
We see her not, nor them. Thus blind, yet still
We lead her way ; and thus, whilst we do ill,
We suffer it.
2. Unhappy he whom youth makes not beware
Of doing ill.
Enough we labour under age, and care ;
In number, th' errors of the last place are
The greatest still.
Presumably, the pronunciation of are in Donne’s time would lead in some dialects to a pronunciation spelling an’t - with the sounds n and t attached, and the sound r not pronounced.
- An’t came to be used for is not too.
Jonathan Swift used an’t he as early as 1710 in his Journal to Stella.
In Letter 12 - London, 23 December 1710:
Presto is plaguy silly to-night, an’t he? Yes, and so he be.
[Presto is the name Swift gives to himself in his letters - swift means happening quickly, promptly, and presto is a musical term meaning in a quick tempo.]
It is not clear how this use of an’t for is not developed. It’s possible that an’t was simply extended to the third person singular since it already served all the other present-tense forms of be.
An’t was established in the meanings am not, are not and is not by the early 18th century. An’t being a speech form, its printed evidence comes from letters and fictional dialogues:
I am sure that I shan’t go if Lucy an’t there.
Jane Austen - Sense and Sensibility - 1811
An’t you sorry for her
Emily Dickinson - letter, 24 December 1851
“An’t he beautiful, John? Don’t he look precious in his sleep?” “Very precious,” said John. “Very much so. He generally IS asleep, an’t he?
Charles Dickens - The Cricket on the Hearth - 1845
These quotations show that an’t continued to be used well into the 19th century. But, by then, it was competing with another spelling, ain’t.
Ain’t is first attested in a novel published in 1778, Fanny Burney’s Evelina. It represented the way a countryman said the word.
This spelling probably represents one of the main directions in the development of the vowel sound of are - as seen above. However, it is not known how this spelling became extended to am not and is not. But ain’t was popularly associated with Cockney speech in the 19th century - in some of Charles Dickens’s novels for example.
The other main branch in the development of the vowel sound of are brings it in the direction of aunt (a plausible pronunciation for an't), and would, by the end of the 19th century, result in the spelling aren’t - remember that southern British English omits the sound r - hence the spelling aren't I?, which looked very strange to Americans when it was first noticed in British novels around the turn of the century.
Ain’t is also used in the meanings have not and has not.
There is evidence of a 17th-century contraction ha’nt used for both have not and has not - the middle consonants v and s disappearing.
The long a of ain’t came from a variant pronunciation of have - behave is still pronounced that way.
And the h is not aspirated in some dialects of British English.
All of these phenomena combined to produce the have not and has not meanings of ain’t.
DEVELOPMENT OF “AIN’T ” IN THE UNITED STATES
Both an’t and ain’t are attested in the late 18th century, and presumably both appeared because they were brought by early settlers.
Some of the same influences on pronunciation were present too. For example, 19th-century dialect humourists used the spelling air for are.
Ain’t began to displace an’t during the 19th century.
In a book published in 1845, Johnson Jones Hooper tells the story of his rascally hero Simon Suggs in which young Simon regularly says ain’t while his father says a’n’t:
Mr. Jedediah Suggs let down Bill and untied him. Approaching Simon, whose coat was off, “Come, Simon, son,” said he, “cross them hands; I'm gwine to correct you.”
“It aint no use, daddy,” said Simon.
“Why so, Simon?”
“Jist bekase it aint. I'm gwine to play cards as long as I live. When I go off to myself, I'm gwine to make my livin' by it. So what's the use of beatin' me about it?”
“Bob Smith says, does he? And who's Bob Smith? Much does Bob Smith know about Augusty! he's been thar, I reckon! Slipped off yearly some mornin', when nobody warn't noticin', and got back afore night! It's only a hundred and fifty mile. Oh, yes,Bob Smith knows all about it! I don't know nothin' about it! I a'n't never been to Augusty--I couldn't find the road thar, I reckon--ha! ha! Bob--Smi-th! The eternal stink! if he was only to see one o' them fine gentlemen in Augusty, with his fine broad-cloth, and bell-crown hat, and shoe-boots a-shinin' like silver, he'd take to the woods and kill himself a-runnin'. Bob Smith! that's whar all your devilment comes from, Simon.”
Some Adventures of Captain Simon Suggs, Late of the Tallapoosa Volunteers - Johnson Jones Hooper(1815-62)
Hooper’s tale is set in the South. In New England, Emily Dickinson was using an’t in 1851, and the elder Oliver Wendell Holmes heard it from his fellow boarders in 1860. Perhaps the change worked its way from south to north.
At any rate, an’t is hard to find after the 1870s, and even New England writers like Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mary E. Wilkins Freeman use ain’t. In some parts of the USA, hain’t is interchangeable with ain’t.