for to

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Fri Nov 30 21:10:46 UTC 2001

At 01:41 PM 11/30/01 -0700, you wrote:
>From:    Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU>
>: David Bowie wrote:
>: >For a time, i was forbidden to offer grammaticality judgments
>: >in one of my undergrad syntax classes. (Something about
>: >accepting "for to" as a preposition was the straw that
>: >finally broke the camel's back, IIRC.)
>: Offer this use of the infinitive marker "for to," heard from
>: George W. last August and gleefully written down (because I
>: like it):  "[the government] trusts citizens ... for to meet
>: their health care needs."  Good South Midland usage, if a bit
>: archaic.
>Archaic?!? Me?! But...but... :-)
>David Bowie                                   Department of Linguistics
>Assistant Professor                            Brigham Young University
>db.list at                         
>    The opinions stated here are not necessarily those of my employer

Good!  Where are you from?  I seldom hear it here in SE Ohio, but I'm
listening for it.  BTW, I had a high school classmate in Minnesota a
hundred years ago (I AM archaic--no, seriously, in the '50s) who had moved
up north from South Carolina, where she reduced the infin. marker to "for"
rather than "to," as in "I wanted for do it...."  I was fascinated by this,
and I'm convinced it was the start of my interest in dialect
variation.  Now, of course, I'm somewhat aware of its range (Southern/South
Atlantic area), but not sure how far it extends.  Anyone (Natalie? Cynthia? )?

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

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