I was reading the first book of A Song of Ice and Fire and came across this sentence:

"Mormont said as we should track them, and we did," Gared said.

I couldn't exactly understand why there was an as there and asked a native English speaker, however, she couldn't give me a real answer. Can anybody shed some light on this?

  • It is probably a typographical error, missed by the final editor. "As" should be deleted in this example. – Mark Hubbard Dec 25 '15 at 22:33
  • @MarkHubbard That makes a lot sense to me. I just found it very curious that whenever I looked up the sentence I got tons of results from different websites with different versions than mine. But whenever I looked it up without the "as", I only got one result. Thank you. – Nicholas J. Dec 25 '15 at 22:36
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    I don't think it's a typographical error; in context, it seems much more like the author is just using it to give dialectical "flavor" to the speaker's voice. – Yee-Lum Dec 25 '15 at 22:51
  • I suspect it's the speaker's dialect. There are folks who say things like "I'd allow as how we should frabit the gimbut," meaning "I think we should frabit the gimbut." It's not "proper" English but is fairly easy to understand once you hear it once or twice. – Hot Licks Dec 25 '15 at 23:14

As for complementizer that occurs in many dialects. However, I don't think Martin has any particular dialect in mind; it's sort of "generic dialectitude", a device for indicating that the speaker is uneducated or provincial. Note that the same speaker uses a "double negative" just a couple of sentences later:

"Mormont said as we should track them, and we did," Gared said. "They're dead. They shan't trouble us no more."

Negative concord is another feature found across many dialects.

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  • @StoneyB- Well said. I'm not familiar with the works of GRRM. – Mark Hubbard Dec 25 '15 at 22:50
  • @MarkHubbard He's an American writer/producer, with a strong sense of cinematic effect and structure and a serviceable but pedestrian sense of language. – StoneyB on hiatus Dec 25 '15 at 23:07

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