[Ads-l] Heard: "want _for_ you to do"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 1 17:59:30 EST 2017


See also DARE's entry for "for" -- sense 3 is marked as "chiefly South,
South Midland":

---
3. following _like_ and similar verbs: Used with the subject of an
infinitival object clause.
[By ext from the use of _for_ to mark the subject of an infinitive clause
in other uses: e.g. “it is rare for him to come”]
---

Citations include:

---
1941 AmSp 16.17, ‘They’d like for you to stay to supper’ is the habitual
idiom for any Southerner in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and probably
elsewhere in the South. To be sure, it does not often appear in print, . .
but it occurs frequently in student papers, and . . before 1908 in familiar
letters written by Southerners and in southern newspapers.
---

And see Arnold Zwicky's discussion of "like for" in this 2009 thread:

http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2009-February/087895.html

--bgz


On Sun, Jan 1, 2017 at 2:10 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
wrote:

> I’m pretty sure that’s true, both for “want for to VP” and for other “for
> to” constructions including purpose clauses (= ‘in order to’). In one of
> our recent surveys at the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project, we found
> Southern and South Midland hot spots for the sentence “He turned off his
> phone for to avoid his girlfriend” (as the literature predicts), but there
> were quite a number of positive responses scattered across the
> Northeast--not so many further west.
>
> LH
>
> > On Jan 1, 2017, at 1:04 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> wrote:
> >
> > Sounds pretty normal to me, though not in my idiotlect.
> >
> > Mainly a Southern/ South Midland feature?
> >
> > JL
> >
> > On Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 3:53 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> For dekkids, I've had an inkling in the back of my thinking-cap that, at
> >> some point in my life, perhaps when I was a child in Texas, I and the
> >> people around me used the structure
> >>
> >> "_want *for*_ [Noun Phrase] to Verb"
> >>
> >> and not simply
> >>
> >> "_want_ [Noun Phrase] to Verb"
> >>
> >> But it was just a vague feeling and nobody around me now uses it and I
> >> don't use it, even by mistake. It just pops into my head, from time to
> >> time.
> >>
> >> I've just heard Dr. Phil, also a native of Texas, say,
> >>
> >> "What I want _for_ you to do is to follow the plan that I'm going to
> set up
> >> for you."
> >>
> >>
>

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