Date: Mon, 10 Apr 1995 18:03:50 -0500

From: "Timothy C. Frazer" mftcf[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UXA.ECN.BGU.EDU

Subject: Re: needs+past participle

On Sun, 9 Apr 1995 flanigan[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]OUVAXA.CATS.OHIOU.EDU wrote:

Subject: needs+past participle

My surveys on the use of "needs + past participle" (as in "needs

washed") narrow the distribution more than Preston's, Murray's, et al.

I've collected data over the past five years or more, using Trudgill's

questionnaire (in an article reprinted in _On Dialect_, NYU Press,

1983), and I get native speaker use of this form _only_ from South

Midland speakers.

I'd like to respond to this in more detail, but I can't find the qr you

are talking about. What page is it on?

Are you defining "south midland speakers" only by where they live or by

other features that appear in their speech? I'm a little leery of

definition by location, since Ohio linguistic geography is likely to be

more complicated than the broad divisions you suggest. I suspect there are

lot of differences, for example, between Athens and the rest of the

county you live in.

There appear to me to be no fixed boundaries we all agree on, either,

which is one reason dialectolgy is so much fun--we can argue continually

over their location

Ohio cuts nicely into three regions: Northern

(Cleveland), North Midland (Columbus), and South Midland (Cincinnati to

Athens), giving me students from all over the state and outside. No

one from Columbus northward (including Akron) has ever reported using

"needs+past part.",

What's between the axis of Cinn-Athens and Columbus? And here again, e

division in Ohio will not always be as neat as you suggest. Counties

will have more than one dialect.

although some have heard it, principally down here

in the foothills of Appalachia (/AEp[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]lAEtch[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]/ to the natives, by the

way). If they haven't heard it, they call it "foreign"; if they have,

they ridicule it as "hillbilly." Native users, by the way, often

report that they had never heard any alternate form before going away

to college or moving away; contra Murray, I've never had a student

pretend not to know it while actually using it (perhaps because of the

privacy of a written questionnaire, but we openly discuss the forms

afterwards too). The same goes for "positive anymore"--again, no

denials, but this gets a bit wider distribution, including Akron

(perhaps from in-migrants?) but not Columbus. I don't recall hearing

it in Bloomington, Indiana, though; perhaps the spread from Penn. and

Appalachia doesn't extend that far, just as "needs+past part." doesn't

reach to Louisville? Most importantly, I don't see either of these

forms as North Midland, at least not in my (many) Columbus-area


Again, I need to know what you need by North Midland. Origin? Certainly

the Pennsylvania origin would suggest NM.