Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 18:53:48 -0500


Subject: Re: *fixin' to* and *like to* -- Dialectal Aspects

I haven't read the recently articles on "fixin' to" so may be

broadcasting my ignorance here. But I'm interested in the "fenna"

fenamenon. I haven't heard this from older African Americans, but I

have heard /fVna/ (invert that "V" for a wedge) from young folks. Also

I've had students conversantv with AAVE observe it and report it to me

without realizing that it was related to "fixin' to". One young white

woman who grew up speaking AAVE in an inner-city Cincinnati

neighborhood and school which is 95% used it herself but didn't get

the link till I pointed it out. She talked to friends at home and

reported that they found "fixin' to" and recognizable variants

unbearably hick-like, but used /fVna/ freely without stigma.

Does anyone else know about this? I would bet that in the

communities where young folks use /fVna/ freely, older folks use a

less-reduced form or none, but it's be nice to hear some facts from

people who know more...

--peter patrick