a locus classicus for fronted "anymore"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Aug 19 00:57:25 UTC 2009

At 4:22 PM -0500 8/18/09, Matthew Gordon wrote:
>Actually, according to Murray's study in _Heartland English_ (1993), it's
>not that common in the upper Midwest, at least the version of it that LH
>noted in the orignal post. Murray didn't tabulate his results in a way that
>makes exact counts easy, but it looks like he found only a couple of dozen
>Wisconin respondents (out of 761 surveyed) accepting of the sentence "Well,
>anymore people just don't save their money like they used to." (i.e. one
>with fronted anymore in a negated clause). The numbers are similar for
>Minnesota (13 out of 736 accepted it).
>Non-fronted positive anymore was found to be accepted by more people
>including those in the upper Midwest. It looks like Murray found 20 out of
>42 people in Madison accepted it in "He used to take naps on the couch, but
>he sprawls out in that new lounge chair anymore." Still that seems to be a
>lower acceptance rate than in Midlands locales. 115 out of 131 people from
>Des Moines, e.g., accepted that positive anymore sentence and 82 of them
>also liked the fronted negative example above.

That was the paper I was recalling, but I couldn't remember where on
the Midwest map his dots were plotted (and how dense they were).
Yes, my sense too is that the "anymore" fronters are definitely a
proper subset of the positive "anymore" speakers.  Of course, it's
hard to notice when speakers *aren't* using a feature like positive
or fronted "anymore", so even if it was 50% of Wisconsinites for the
former and less than that for the latter I would still have noticed
it when I heard it, compared to what I was used to from back east or
out west.  It's also quite possible that some of the respondents who
declined to accept a given (often stigmatized) usage in Murray's
study might in fact use it on occasion; Labov has made this point
with respect to several variables, possibly including this one.

I wonder how many Duluthers (Duluthans?) batted an eye (or ground a
tooth) over the airport honcho's fronted "anymore"--I guess if he can
keep those planes flying in and out they won't mind too much.


>On 8/18/09 3:06 PM, "ronbutters at AOL.COM" <ronbutters at AOL.COM> wrote:
>>  I wonder how many times fronted positive ANYMORE has been
>>discussed here! Yes
>>  it is common in the upper Midwest and is a feature so commonly
>>noted that one
>>  wonders how anyone could find it remarkable, let alone painful. It is indeed
>>  no wonder that Roger Shuy, Dennis Preston, and now Arnold Zwicky have
>>  cancelled out.
>>  ------Original Message------
>>  From: Laurence Horn
>>  Sender: ADS-L
>>  To: ADS-L
>>  ReplyTo: ADS-L
>>  Subject: Re: [ADS-L] a locus classicus for fronted "anymore"
>>  Sent: Aug 18, 2009 1:33 PM
>>  At 11:58 AM -0500 8/18/09, Scot LaFaive wrote:
>>>>   I'm surprised! I must have heard more positive (including fronted)
>>>>   _anymore_s during the four years I lived in Wisconsin than I heard in my
>>>>   other 60 years living in the Northeast and California.
>>>  I'm surprised as well. I've lived in Wisconsin all my life (four years in
>>>  the Madison area and 30 in the west central area), and I can't remember
>>>  hearing natives of either area using positive "anymore" on any regular (or
>>>  irregular) basis. Whereabouts did you live in Wisconsin.
>>  Madison (1977-81)
>>  LH
>>>  This is very
>>>  interesting. Wonder what DARE says about this for Wisconsin.... (Joan?)
>>>  Scot
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>  Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
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>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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