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Joined: September 29, 2005  (email not validated)
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A lot of the "hillbilly" patterns of speech seen in Appalachia and the South are artifacts of early 18th century English as spoken by those first Scotch-Irish and English settlers. But we still have a few other words that use the "a"- [aside, awake] for the same reason. It's what's left over from when English grammar actually had "declension" - where a noun's spelling is modified depending on how it's used in a sentence- the only one we still use regularly is the ['s] in posessive case: Bob's Garage, or whatever.

br5an0101 September 29, 2005, 11:07am

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