Date: Sun, 5 Dec 1993 09:40:00 EST

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

Subject: some U.S. "Midland" regionalisms

I am now conducting an interview with myself after acting as a respondent to

the progressive form matters sent out to us earlier.

I admit that my harsh judgment against 'Are you wanting an appointment?' was

too hasty. Although 'Do you want an appointment?' is definitely the unmarked

for m for me (and not at all rude, as I think Rudy [no pun] suggested), I can

get "Are you wanting...?' in such cases as the following: A recpetionsist has

not seen a person sitting in an office; a person appears to want an

appointment at a place where they are not normally given; a receptionsist has

misunderstood what a person wants.

I'm glad I did this interview with myself after my initial responses, but I

still don't know whnat it means about the aspect problems raised here. Perhaps

it fits some such generalization as emotional highlighting. If past+emotion

equals present (He picked up a rock and BANG he hits up the side of the head)

then maybe present+emotion equals progress (He goes fishing there all the time

then WOW he's catching fish there like crazy). This does a little damage to

the notion that progressives are usually background elements in narrative, but

perhaps this helps explain some exceptions to that usually handy


I'm sorry not to be able resisting the remark that the new variety given the

network is 'Valley Boy' and that Professors Lance and Troike (with subtle

internal differences, of course) are prime examples.

I fear my own Ohio River Valley will never be able to make such an impact.

Dennis Preston

22709mgr[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]msu.bitnet