Date: Fri, 7 Apr 1995 07:59:00 EDT From: "Dennis.Preston" <22709MGR[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MSU.EDU> Subject: needs + present participle In my expereiece, the farther you go south of the usual north versus south midlands boundary, the less likly you are to hear need + past.part (e.g., needs washed). In my more recent Michigan experience, the division between N. Midland and North concerning this feature seems more abrupt. As a Louisville area speaker, I have all the others: My clothes need to be washed. My clothes need a (good) washing. (I don't like this as much without the adjective; odd huh?) My clothes need washing. And I also confess to the variant: My clothes need a-washing (which, blush, I first thought people were referring to with the article citation. Just a little friendly a-prefixing y'all). The first time I heard the need+past part. construction, I thought it was distinctly non-native. It is interesting (at least to me) to note, by the way, that native speakers of need+past part. grow up in complete ignorance of its limited distribution (as, say, Appalachian speakers do not of a-prefixing). Since there are no negative caricatures of the area which supports it (generally), the local speakers believe they are speakers of the mythical General American English. I had a helluva time once convincing a Findlay, Ohio resident that his use of this construction was in the least unusual (but, then, he was a Slavic linguist). Since he was something of a prescriptivist, it was all the more horrible for him. Dennis Preston <22709mgr[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]> changing to