Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 11:53:15 -0700 From: bruce dwight bolinging Subject: Thursday next, etc. The phrase "Thursday week" is part of a larger pattern of expressions used to designate a fixed time (see OED,s. v. "week", 5b); e.g. Thursday next, Thursday week, this day month, etc. The second term in such expressions can be either prospective or retrospective: Thursday next (prospective), Thursday last (retrospective), this day month (either), April was a year (retrospective; dialectal only), Thursday week (either). This pattern is well attested in the English of England and of the Republic of Ireland, as well as in the Mid-Ulster dialect. It is absent from Scots, but is abundantly attested in Ulster Scots, which in this case has undergone the influence of the Mid-Ulster dialect. The presence of the pattern in the Mid-Ulster and Ulster Scots dialects is of course significant for explaining its appearance in the speech of the American South. Below are a few examples of the pattern from my corpus of Mid-Ulster speech of the 18th and 19th centuries. (1) his doughter Sally is dead and that day weacke hir sister Doughter died (prospective) (2) I recived your letter this day munth (retrospective) (3) Mother died in June last was a year (retrospective) (4) untill May was a year when I took ill (retrospective) I would be interested to know whether such retrospective constructions as "Thursday last" or "Thursday week" (meaning "a week ago Thursday") coexist in the speech of those Southern American speakers who have "Thursday week" in its prospective sense. Bruce D. Boling University of New Mexico bboling[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]