Here’s looking at youse: Understanding the place of yous(e) in Australian English
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AbstractThis chapter further documents the place of yous(e) in Australian English (AuE) by analyzing occurrences in Australian literature taken from the Macquarie Dictionary’s OzCorp. Firstly, we substantiate that in AuE yous(e) has developed a singular usage alongside the plural. Analysis of the reference in 308 tokens within our subcorpus of literature finds 40% clearly have a singular referent and that such forms occur in just over half of the texts. Secondly, we provide an analysis of its social evaluation as a stigmatized form by examining its utilization in the voices authors give to their characters. Focussing on texts with high use, we uncover yous(e) is linked both to particular ‘types’ and to certain fictional worlds/milieus. In both cases, the authors draw on understandings of it as Australian and working class, with recognition of its claimed Irish origins only (potentially) indirectly indexed.
CitationMulder, J., & Penry Williams, C. (2020). 'Here’s looking at youse: Understanding the place of yous(e) in Australian English'. In Allan, K. (Ed.). 'Dynamic language changes: Looking within and across languages'. Singapore: Springer, pp. 57–72.