Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




This paper attempts to explore one relatively small phenomenon of language. Linguistics is what might be thought of as a discipline in its infancy. Men have studied language for thousands of years: Dionysius Thrax of Alexandria codified the grammar of Greek in the second century B.C. But it has been only in the last thirty to forty years that scholars have studied language as it is spoken, as the living tool for symbolization that more than anything else distinguishes man from the lower animals. Linguists try to describe and to explain language, not to prescribe how it should be used. That has been the approach in this paper. What it might contribute to our knowledge of language is certainly limited--by the limited knowledge and experience of the writer if nothing else.