Dost know of such a place, lad, as Kingsbere-sub-Greenhill?

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Senior Member
Here is another sentence from the novel, Tess of D'Urbervilles:
Durberfield (ask a lad): "Dost know of such a place, lad, as Kingsbere-sub-Greenhill?"

I find two questions from the dialogue:
First—why did Durberfield omit the subject "you" (between "does" and "know")?
Sencond—why did Durberfield use "dost" when the subject is "you"(not singular third person)?

Look forward to your explanation. Thanks a lot
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  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Not an expert on 19th-century English, but I can only confirm that omitting the subject does take place in questions in some dialects and has found its way into publications.

    Hark'ee, fool, dost know of one called Brandon of Shene hereabouts? (Black Barthelmy's Treasure, 1920)
    Come, where dost live? here about? Hast got good vails? Dost go to market? (Miss in her teens, 1747)
    How dost like the volume? wilt get it by eart? (The youth of Shakespeare, 1848)

    This seems to occur with dost or wilt.


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, additionally, when thou is not stressed it would have been pronounced /ðə/ (and seen in the spelling tha ['Come if tha wilt'] in Lawrence's Lady Chatterley). Dos ends with /t/, and the /tð/ cluster in dost thou could also lead to some simplification.

    Dost thou know: dəstðənoʊ --> dəstnoʊ
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