I gotta go ?

Status
Not open for further replies.

whl626

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
English
Home Country
Malaysia
Current Location
Malaysia
This word ' got ' has been confusing me for a long time. Is it against the rule of grammar since ' got ' is the past tense of ' get '. Why I never hear people say ' I get to go now ' ?
 

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
whl626 said:
This word ' got ' has been confusing me for a long time. Is it against the rule of grammar since ' got ' is the past tense of ' get '. Why I never hear people say ' I get to go now ' ?

I get to go would mean the same thing as I am allowed to go. I got to go is pretty much the same thing as I've got to go, but it is, I think, more emphatic. Certainly, it is informal speech.

:)
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
Hello :D

That was a great answer. Thank you for that. I would just like to add, if I may, that there are several speculations regarding the sentences like "I got to go" and "I've got to go", which differ in pronunciation but express the one and the same meaning.

It's been noted by many non-native English speakers in many forums, that native English speakers have a tendency to omit the [v] sound of present perfect verb forms. For example,

"I've got to go."
"I got to go."

Some speculate the reason for this has to do with principles of ease of articulation; that it's more economical to say "I got" than it is to say "I've got". Others speculate the reason has to do with what's called paradigmatic regularization: present perfect verb forms are slowly merging with simple past verb forms.

The reason for this merger is speculative at best given we are dealing with language in the midst of change. Some say it has to do with the fact that speaker have a tendency to omit time markers needed to distinguish the present perfect from the past simple. For example,

I've made dinner. It's on the table. Come and get it.
I made dinner. It's on the table. Come and get it.

Compare:

I have made dinner *yesterday. (ungrammatical)
I made dinner yesterday.

The tendency to omit time markers that serve to distinguish the present perfect from simple past is passed down to young speakers. After time, the function of the present perfect becomes fuzzy and subsequently is lost altogether.

At the present time in the history of the English language we are seeing language in change, right before our very eyes and ears.

All the best, and thank for the opportunity to participate in your discussion forum. Thank you. :D

Casiopea
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
Sorry :oops:

I tried to "edit" my post but was unable to do so.

Here is what I wanted to edit:


English speakers have a tendency to omit the [v] sound of past perfect verb forms.

English speakers have a tendency to omit the [v] sound of present perfect verb forms.
 

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
All your observations make sense to me. :)

*altogether*

I gotta go now. Talk to you later.

:wink:
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Casiopea said:
Sorry :oops:

I tried to "edit" my post but was unable to do so.

Here is what I wanted to edit:


English speakers have a tendency to omit the [v] sound of past perfect verb forms.

English speakers have a tendency to omit the [v] sound of present perfect verb forms.

Some Chinese students of mine this summer said that they just couldn't hear English people saying 'can' in connected speech- to them, it was so unstressed as to be inaudible. ;-)
 

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
tdol said:
Casiopea said:
Sorry :oops:

I tried to "edit" my post but was unable to do so.

Here is what I wanted to edit:


English speakers have a tendency to omit the [v] sound of past perfect verb forms.

English speakers have a tendency to omit the [v] sound of present perfect verb forms.

Some Chinese students of mine this summer said that they just couldn't hear English people saying 'can' in connected speech- to them, it was so unstressed as to be inaudible. ;-)

Were those "English people" British?

  • "You can do it."
    --Denise Austin

:wink:
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
Can you? Kin you?

Some Chinese students of mine this summer said that they just couldn't hear English people saying 'can' in connected speech- to them, it was so unstressed as to be inaudible.

A wonderful observation!

:?: Based on my knowledge of that particular topic the story goes like this: "can", pronounced as [kae:n], can undergo what's referred to as process of regressive assimilation, whereby the low front long vowel [ae:] rises to a high front reduced vowel , as in "kin". The process is as follows: (Note: the terms "high, low, front and back" refer to the position of the tongue in the oral cavity).

low front /ae/ becomes high front before high back [k].

I [kae:n] swim.
I [kIn] swim.

It's the reduced vowel that's the culprit. It's not part of the Chinese language's system of sounds. That's not to say Chinese speakers will never be able to hear . Rather, it just takes time like everything else.

If you try stressing [kIn] for your students you'll find that they will still have problems identifying the sound . Reduced vowels cannot be stressed. So, what ends up happening is that sonorous [n] becomes stressed instead. That is, students hear [kInnnnnn]. :cheers:
 

makaveli

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2003
Member Type
Other
Hi Casiopea,

I have followed your last post and repeated "can" about 20 times myself as an English native speaker. I think you are right my pronunciation is far more I [kIn] swim than the "so called" correct I [kae:n] swim. However as with much in regard to pronunciation a large amount of this type of discussion is also merged/clouded surely by accent ?

In the U.K there are a huge number of different accents that I myself simply struggle to understand!!!!! Some words which appear as to the Chinese students in an earlier post, being simply inaudible! I cannot say that they are wrong in their pronunciation because to people of a certain region it is correct and they are of course right!!!!!!

Much of this comes I think from the deep seated view that BBC World Service English is and was proper English and any deviation is paramount to treason!!!!! This is of course rubbish but it is amazing how much you still see and hear comments to this notion in the U.K!

I also wonder how much of any langauge when two native speakers talk to each other has elements that are compensated for by the brain, simply because we are so used to hearing the sounds?

Sadly, that which should be always has to make way for that which is, with so many more people throughout the world embracing it, English appears to be changing at such an alarming rate I think you will see more and more simplified speech structure/emphasis and less which is tied to grammatical rules of correctness!!!


Regards



Alex
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
language in change

That was beautifully expressed.

I also wonder how much of any langauge when two native speakers talk to each other has elements that are compensated for by the brain, simply because we are so used to hearing the sounds?

Ooh. Now that's definitely an immoveable feast for the mind. The eatin' & disgestin' are going to take me some time, though, before I feel confident enough to respond.

English appears to be changing at such an alarming rate I think you will see more and more simplified speech structure/emphasis and less which is tied to grammatical rules of correctness!!!

I'm in full agreement with you there; however, I would like to add one thing for the sake of food for thought:

Structures which appear to be free from constraints (e.g. specifically the kind of so-called ungrammatical structures like "I got to go") still adhere to rules, yet those rules, unlike those deemed by prescriptivists, may be in the process of change (a "Grammar at work" sign posted here) due to the inefficiency of the present system. That is, what appear to be ungrammatical structures/unacceptable English may in fact be a sign of efficient systems at work. Today's simplified speech/ungrammatical structures/unacceptable English will be tomorrow's etymological findings if it proves efficient. Simplified speech will undoubtedly and eventually become the more preferred mode among its users in the future, simply because it offers its users a more efficient means of communication.

Dare I say, Darwin should'[v] bn a Linguist. :D
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
The international nature of English makes it inevitable that a true international variety will emerge, where rules may well be determined by non-native speakers. ;-)
 

makaveli

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2003
Member Type
Other
I am very new to this forum but your enthusiasm Casiopea, has certainly added something for me already. I'm just glad you found something worth digesting!!!! :wink:

Warm regards



Mak
 

whl626

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
English
Home Country
Malaysia
Current Location
Malaysia
tdol said:
The international nature of English makes it inevitable that a true international variety will emerge, where rules may well be determined by non-native speakers. ;-)

Beginners will be at a cross road if there isn't anything to go by as far as learning a language is concerned :p
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
They won't be the ones making the new rules. ;-)
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
creole pidgin

tdol provided:

The international nature of English makes it inevitable that a true international variety will emerge, where rules may well be determined by non-native speakers.

According to history, tdol, you're right on the money! :cheers:

pidgin – A simplified version of some language, often augmented by features from other languages. A pidgin typically arises in colonial situations and is used solely as a trade language. Unlike creoles, pidgins do not have native speakers.

creole – A language that developed from a pidgin by expanding its vocabulary and acquiring a more complex grammatical structure.

http://www.ling.ohio-state.edu/research/jpcl/glosya_c.htm#creolization


whl626 provided:

Beginners will be at a cross road if there isn't anything to go by as far as learning a language is concerned

Children learn language from their language providers: parents, extended family, people in the community, and so on. School aged children learn standard English in school and soon realize that what people say at home and in the community, even on their favorite TV program is not necessarily the standard nor for that matter grammatically correct, ain't that the truth. Coming up against crossroads is part of the learning process.

ESL/EFL students learn language from teachers who use textbooks, the contents of which espouse the standard dialect at the time. However, that may be, learners of a second language are forever commenting on the differences in language use among native speakers, e.g. "How can I learn English if its speakers keep changing the rules?" At the present time in the history of English, ESL/EFL students are finding that there are a great deal of crossroads out there.

I agree with you there whl626. :cheers:
 

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
whl626 said:
tdol said:
The international nature of English makes it inevitable that a true international variety will emerge, where rules may well be determined by non-native speakers. ;-)

Beginners will be at a cross road if there isn't anything to go by as far as learning a language is concerned :p

Um, that's crossroads. A cross road would be a road that's surly. :wink:

Go here: http://www.infoplease.com/ipd/A0393918.html
(definition 3b)

:)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top