Date: Wed, 23 Nov 1994 10:32:41 -0800 From: Dan Alford 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> <-- McCartney/Lennon>