- Well, he couldn’t say how it was; he didn’t know as anybody could say how it was; all he know’d was, that so it was.
(Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens, Chapter 12)
Lexico lists three parts of speech that 'as' appears as:
used in comparisons to refer to the extent or degree of something.
go as fast as you can
used to indicate that something happens during the time when something else is taking place.
Frank watched him as he ambled through the crowd ...
used to indicate by comparison the way that something happens or is done.
they can do as they wish ...
used to refer to the function or character that someone or something has.
it came as a shock
during the time of being (the thing specified).
he had often been ill as a child
But none of these seems to correspond to how Dickens uses the word here. It seems to be a similar usage to 'that' or 'whether', used as what a comment has described as a complementiser:
- ' ... he didn’t know as anybody could say how it was ...'
- ' ... he didn’t know that anybody could say how it was ...'
- ' ... he didn’t know whether/if anybody could say how it was ...'
Could anyone explain/confirm the usage of "as" in the above sentence?