Author Topic: Hadn't've / hadn't'a  (Read 3718 times)

Offline Daniel

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Hadn't've / hadn't'a
« on: January 01, 2014, 06:07:31 PM »
"If I hadn't've done that...."
"If I hadn't'a done that...."

These forms are as far as I can tell acceptable and common in at least American English. What's going on?

Are they idiomatic based on analogy to "wouldn't've" via "I'd've"??
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Offline lx

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Re: Hadn't've / hadn't'a
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 06:53:36 PM »
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Are they idiomatic based on analogy to "wouldn't've" via "I'd've"??
That's what seems to be going on, yes. I noticed this a few years ago. I don't think you need to say via specifically Id've but rather just the would pattern.

He would not have done that.
He wouldn't have done that.
He wouldnt'a done that.
He wunta done that. <--- only seen this a few times though.

Then people apply it over in the reduced form (when it sounds like 'of') with "If he hadn't've done it," and reduce it right the way back to the full if he had not have done it....

Language change in action.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Hadn't've / hadn't'a
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 07:06:37 PM »
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I don't think you need to say via specifically Id've but rather just the would pattern.
The reason I think that may be relevant is that 'd is identical for the two forms, resulting in the confusion.
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Offline lx

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Re: Hadn't've / hadn't'a
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2014, 08:05:55 PM »
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I don't think you need to say via specifically Id've but rather just the would pattern.
The reason I think that may be relevant is that 'd is identical for the two forms, resulting in the confusion.
Ah, I see. Yes, I thought you meant specifically the first person singular (and wasn't sure why) but yes, the fact there is a similar construction also ending in [d]. I think the semantics being similar, too, helps. For example, "If I wouldn't have been there...." and "If I hadn't been there...." It adds to the closeness and increases the chances of the crossover (I believe).

Offline freknu

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Re: Hadn't've / hadn't'a
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2014, 09:26:33 PM »
Had not have? Sounds weird, but what lx said makes sense. Though, I've seem some really weird uses of "-'ve" (usually spelled "of"), so it doesn't surprise me.

For some reason "of" (-'ve) seems to be quite productive.

Offline lx

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Re: Hadn't've / hadn't'a
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 04:43:09 AM »
Had not have? Sounds weird, but what lx said makes sense. Though, I've seem some really weird uses of "-'ve" (usually spelled "of"), so it doesn't surprise me.

For some reason "of" (-'ve) seems to be quite productive.
Definitely. I think that's becoming something nearly all speakers are having to unlearn because their first impressions are that it is the word of. It's clear in a lot of people's speech as well. It used to be that people said the reduced form [əv] but now the reanalysis is pretty complete in a lot of people, when it's stressed it (incorrectly) expands not as [hæv] but rather [ʌv] / [ɑv]. That's from what I've noticed around the UK at least.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Hadn't've / hadn't'a
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 06:41:50 AM »
Is 'of' the new 'to or 'from', then?
However it's supposed to be spelled, enough people do seem to believe it is 'of', perhaps suggesting that function words more easily are grammaticalized for special functions?
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Offline lx

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Re: Hadn't've / hadn't'a
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 08:07:09 AM »
However it's supposed to be spelled, enough people do seem to believe it is 'of', perhaps suggesting that function words more easily are grammaticalized for special functions?
:-\ .... (the emoticon says this means 'undecided', which is the only reason I chose this one!)
I wouldn't jump to a causal connection immediately, but totally possible.

Is 'of' the new 'to or 'from', then?
I'm not sure I follow what you mean. Can you elaborate?  :D

Offline Daniel

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Re: Hadn't've / hadn't'a
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2014, 08:17:06 AM »
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I wouldn't jump to a causal connection immediately, but totally possible.
Why don't we get an 'extra have' with other modals? "I wanted've ..." or "I can've..." etc.
The only similarity I can see is that "have" and "would" (and "should", "could") both reduce to 'd in certain circumstances. "have" and these modals aren't otherwise in the same class. There must be some analogy going on, and the limit to a word that happens to have that ending is interesting. I have no direct evidence, though.
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I'm not sure I follow what you mean. Can you elaborate?
I'm not sure that "of" is a mistake. It might be how it's actually represented (and acquired) in spoken English. "Of" thus joins "to" ("I want to...") and "from" ("I refrain from...") as a verbal connecting particle.
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