Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 08:58:18 -0500
From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU
Subject: Re: "Smell of"
If it was discussed with regard to 'smell' only then it is certainly not
complete. I don't remember the earlier discussion, but the use of 'of' with
sense verbs (taste, smell, feel) is widely distributed in the US south
(and, I suspect, has varying patterns of social significance). Note the
parallel with nominal forms of these verbs in such phrases as 'Take/have a
taste of this.' Danny Long pointed out that the 'of' appearance in verbs
appears to be limited to grammatical imperatives (pragmatically they are
often 'invitations' or 'offers'), and that would seem to even more strongly
relate them to the parallel nominal forms. If Danny is right, then 'Smell
of this' is gram matical, but 'I smelled of that rose yesterday' (with the
proper meaning - not 'I had the smell of a rose myself') is ungrammatical.
I'm not a sense-verb + 'of' speaker myself. Is that right for those of you
smell / smell of was discussed on ads-l last year some time. You might
look up the interchanges in the ads archives to see earlier comments.
Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]pilot.msu.edu