Date: Wed, 23 Nov 1994 10:32:41 -0800
From: Dan Alford dalford[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]S1.CSUHAYWARD.EDU
Subject: *fixin' to* and *like to* -- Dialectal Aspects
Hm. Ever had a discussion on this topic? Last night on
Hard Copy a guy being swarmed by killer bees in Texas
said over his cellular phone, "I'm fixin' to pass out," which
shows [fIksInt[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]] ([AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]=schwa) being used in the
non-intentional sense. Note the similarity to what seems
to me a weaker dialectal aspect, like to -- except [laIkt[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]]
is only used for reporting past events, with the main
verb in past tense, "I [laIkt[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]] passed out."
Since English is not structurally a three-tense language
but a two-tense with aspects, a point not generally well
taught in English classes, aspects usually get short
shrift in describing English.
Questions: (1) Does anyone else have examples of
dialectal aspects? (2) Does anyone else know how this
description of English figured in Chomsky's only known
(to me) direct attack on Benjamin Whorf to prove him
wrong once and for all? (3) Does anyone care?
-- Moonhawk (%- )
"The fool on the hill sees the sun going down and
the eyes in his head see the world spinning round"