a-dancing and a-singing

Larry Gorbet lgorbet at unm.edu
Fri Jun 5 23:48:23 UTC 2009

On Jun 5, 2009, at 5:38 PM, A. Katz wrote:

> Brian,
> I found a reference to this a- prefix here:
> http://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/prefixes.htm
> They seem to think that it means "to/toward", which is then  
> grammaticalized to being in a particular state or process.
> Best,
>    --Aya
> P.S. My guess is that it might be related to the French preposition  
> 'a'.

Isn't this just a reduced form of the English preposition "at", as  
found etymologically in the earlier forms of English progressive  

- Larry Gorbet

University of New Mexico     lgorbet at unm.edu
Anthropology and Linguistics Departments
Albuquerque, NM 87131

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