Things that need fixed

Carl.Mills at UC.EDU Carl.Mills at UC.EDU
Wed Apr 9 20:09:18 UTC 1997

On the _needs fixed_ etc. construction

>>And what probably most of the other readers of your note aren't
>>thinking about is that your kids grew up in Oregon, where the
>>_needs fixed_ construction is pretty entrenched.

>Just a note about "those things need fixed", it's the norm in south
>central Indiana, and I would think in the south Midwest in general,
>although I'm not sure about that.  Anyway, it's not an Oregon isolate.
>Where else is the "NP needs fixed" construction found?

To add a bit to the previous posts, as many Oregon dialectologists have
noted, early census data for the Willamette Valley show Missouri and (I
believe) Illinois as previous states of residence for the largest
percentages of folks residing in the Valley in 1850 and 1860, although
the numbers for Missouri are questionable for reasons that we don't need
to get into.  So the "south Midwest" provenance for the construction is
a good bet.

In addition, Peter Trudgill has at times talked about similar
constructions from Norwich.  If we substitute _want_ for _need_ we get
things like

Your hair wants cut.  and so on.

So "needs fixed" or "needs fixen" or whatever _need Past Part_
constructions have a good English pedigree, I think.

Carl Mills

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