"at" at end of sentence

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Fri Mar 22 13:35:41 UTC 2002

Hardly Midwestern US. I have yet to visit an English-speaking part of
the world where many prepositions were not left at the ends of
sentences. I suspect there are some lower-level syntactic conditions
which will obtain in some areas and not in others (causing Canadians,
for example, to notice others' use but not their own, a common enough
sociolinguistic phenomenon [or 'phenomena', a rapidly-growing
singular]), but I don't think we know about the distribution of these
conditions, and I suspect that many are more social than geographic.

Good thesis. Get on it.


>Many of my friends in Indiana use the sentence-ending "at," so I suspect
>it's more of a midwest thing.
>>  You know you're from Ohio if:
>>  You end your sentences with an unnecessary
>>  preposition. Example:"Where's my coat at?"
>>  I'd always thought this was American in general (ie., Canadians
>>  never put "at" at the end of sentences, but it's one of
>>  the first things we notice when we go south of the border).
>>  Is this usage considered specific to Ohio or that general region?

Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Languages
740 Wells Hall A
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
Office - (517) 353-0740
Fax - (517) 432-2736

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