Me - me father says

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by camanance1528, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. camanance1528 Junior Member

    spanish
    Good morning all,

    I have a question. I´m a little confused about the used of "me", I´m not sure if I´m listening well. But sometimes on t.v. I hear people using "me" as a possessive:
    "me father says"
    "me point of view"
    and things like that.

    Is that a good use for me or I just did not understand.

    Thanks
     
  2. Sprache Senior Member

    United States
    English/inglés
    In some dialects, the possessive pronoun my is replaced by me. So you will sometimes hear me books or something like that. It is not in any way standard. It can be heard in parts of Great Britain and Ireland. It never happens in North America though, and I'm not entirely sure about Australia/New Zealand.
     
  3. sniffrat

    sniffrat Senior Member

    Leicester, England
    English, UK
    Hi camanance

    It is just bad pronunciation (probably British)

    "my father says" :tick:---> sounds like "me father says":cross:

    I do this all the time. It's just lazy speech. :eek:

    Que tengas un buen fin de semana.
     
  4. Sprache Senior Member

    United States
    English/inglés
    It is impossible for me to make my sound anything like me even in fast, unarticulated speech. There are some dialects in which people do replace my with me.
     
  5. Oldy Nuts

    Oldy Nuts Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Spanish - Chile
    This is interesting. Can a small ocean in between make so much of a difference in pronunciation? Could the same thing happen within the USA? I know it does in the British Isles, but there are some obvious reasons over there...
     
  6. sniffrat

    sniffrat Senior Member

    Leicester, England
    English, UK
    I'm not sure I agree with you there Sprache. When we emphasize a possessive it must be pronounced "correctly" e.g.

    "...no, not your father my father..."

    The "lazy" pronunciation (me) will not work in this example.

    Oldy Nuts: What are the obvious reasons? I'm curious......;)
     
  7. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I was under the impression that it was dialectal. Cockney, and so on...
     
  8. ceint Junior Member

    English UK
    Pronouncing "my" as "me" is a very common feature of colloquial speech in probably most English-speaking countries, especially in the British Isles, Australia and the West Indies. I agree that it's just a "lazy" (or colloquial, or whatever you want to call it) pronunciation, not dialectical.
     
  9. Oldy Nuts

    Oldy Nuts Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Spanish - Chile
    English, Irish, Scotish, Welsh (alphabetical order) amongst other things...
     
  10. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    It doesn't seem to be common at all in North America, though.

    I'm not sure about Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa...
     
  11. ceint Junior Member

    English UK
    In Australia it's extremely common, if you were mimicking a stereotypical Australian accent you would definitely say "me" instead of "my". I'm almost certain it's common in New Zealand and South Africa too, but I don't know why it doesn't occur in North America.
     
  12. Sprache Senior Member

    United States
    English/inglés
    That's because it is dialectal. My is not reduced to sound like me in unstressed situations. There is nothing lazy about saying me instead of my.

    And it is not at all common in North America. I never say it that way and I've never heard any other American or Canadian say it. It's something that reminds of Irish people for some reason.
     
  13. ceint Junior Member

    English UK
    That doesn't make sense to me. If it was dialectal surely it would be "me" in all situations, which was sniffrat's point, whereas as it's just a colloquial/lazy/whatever pronunciation, it's not used when a possessive is emphasized, as in sniffrat's example.

    Sorry, but there is. "Me" is a shorter sound and takes less effort to pronounce.

    So, not common in North America = dialectal? If you go into an average pub in an average town anywhere in the British Isles, don't be surprised to hear "my" pronounced as "me" by most people (depending on exactly where you are).

    Saying "my" pronounced as "me" is dialectal is like saying "and" pronounced as "'n" is dialectal too, or "wanna" instead of "want to", etc, etc.
     
  14. greenie Senior Member

    Seattle
    English, USA
    I agree with Sprache. I don't think that the word "lazy" here is very appropriate. It may be easier to pronounce one way than the other, however, "lazy" has a negative connotation that one may wish to avoid when writing about the way other people speak.
     
  15. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    In some dialects, unstressed my retains its older pronunciation /mi/. In this respect my is not very different from him or them, which often revert to their older forms with unstressed (/im/ instead of /hIm/, 'em from hem instead of them). The unstressed forms are naturally shorter than the stressed forms.
     
  16. ceint Junior Member

    English UK
    Exactly which dialects are you referring to? Sorry, but I don't agree with your explanation.

    To use another word as an example, "you" is often pronounced colloquially as "ya" or "yuh"... simply because it takes less effort to pronounce it that way ("see ya later", "how yuh doin'?", etc).

    But you wouldn't say "It's ya I want to see" when wanting to add emphasis. But there's no need to come up with a convoluted theory about "ya" being a dialectal unstressed form which is naturally shorter than the stressed form. And the same thing applies to "my" > "me".

    As mentioned, "my" pronounced as "me" doesn't have a different grammatical value, it's the exact same possessive adjective. It's just a non-standard/colloquial pronunciation (in the UK and many other English-speaking countries), nothing more than that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  17. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    For that matter, I have heard something like "muh" (with a schwa, not /i/) for unstressed my, but not for me. The schwa would make sense as a slurring of /mai/.

    I maintain that the pronunciation /mi/ for my is older than the pronunciation /mai/ and that it occurs mainly in conservative dialects such as Scots and Appalachian.

    I associate it also with old seamen for some reason.
     
  18. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    The correct term is that [mi] is a weak form of the pronoun "my". There are dialects, like standard BE, where "my" has only one form, pronounced [mai], but there are other dialects where a strong form [mai] and a weak form [mi] coexist.

    In addition, as Forero said, in historical terms the pronunciation [mi] is actually more conservative than the pronunciation [mai].
     
  19. camanance1528 Junior Member

    spanish
    wow!!! It's been an enriching discussion. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  20. camanance1528 Junior Member

    spanish
    Thanks for your comments
     

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