Date: Sat, 8 Apr 1995 21:46:00 EDT

From: "Dennis.Preston" 22709MGR[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MSU.EDU

Subject: Re: needs + present participle

I'm a little puzzled by the recent suggestion that needs+past part. has a

distribution that is ragged or unknown. It seems that we have not kept

needs+past part. and needs+pres.part. straight. Indeed, several people have

indicated unfamiliarity with Needs Washing while others (from the same region)

have found it normal.

That is surely not the case with needs+past part. It has its origins in Scots

(Scots-Irish), spreads from Western Pennsylvania over, roughly, the area known

as North Midlands. A little farther North (e.g., southern Michigan), and it is

unknown (my undergraduates at MSU think it is non-native); a little farther

South, the same (when I was a Louisville kid, I never heard it).

The only mixed reports we have heard (predictably) are from such outlandish

places as Oregon where pockets of immigrants from North or South Midlands keep

old speech practices alive even into later generations.

We called that stuff with Jello and other crap in it Jello Mold; I wouldn't

eat it when I was a kid, and I won't eat it now (just in case you have me


Ambrosia is a young adult term for me, and I can't recall when I ran into it.

It was only a little more palatable than Jello Mold as I recall.

I can't believe I am writing about this food stuff any more than I can believe

that peple eat bean sandwiches. Must be the Hungarian in me. How about the

distribution of at least something the rest of us could eat? What do you

call Cabbage Rolls. We called then Stuffed Cabbage (calqued from Hungarian),

but I have heard them called Pigs in a Blanket (which, for me, were horrible

store-bought dough wrapped around hot dogs and baked - UGH!). Do Poles out

there ever loan-translate Cabbage Rolls (I suppose it would be Little Doves or


OK, no winners.

The Southern Shift version of Preston is [pre[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]stIn] (where [e] is relatively

tense and forward (the raising of peripheral [E]) and in-glided. The [I] in

the second syllable does not raise (and in-glide) since its non-stressed

status prevents it from being interpreted as a peripheral.

Of course, the allegro (or informal) version would be [pre[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]s?N] where [?] is

the glottal and [N] is a syllabic (but that would have been for extra credit).


changing to