gonna (was: double a-prefixing?)

Douglas Bigham TlhovwI at AOL.COM
Sun Jun 27 08:36:22 UTC 2004

In a message dated 6/25/2004 1:18:00 PM Central Standard Time,
flanigan at OHIO.EDU writes:
It's not really so weird, and it's not quite future.  If you "formalize"
it, it's "I must have been going to write on it" = planning to, therefore
present perfect progressive?  But even if it's future gonna, think of "I'm
a-gonna do it"--not weird at all.
Right.  "I'm a-gonna do it" is totally not weird at all.  But still, "I musta
been a-gonna" strikes me with the big side of the *way odd* stick.  But the
more I think about it, the less I can pinpoint the weirdness.  At first I
thought it was the a-prefix with "gonna".  Then I thought it was just the rhythm
that it created.  But now I'm thinking that it's the "gonna" itself.  Something
about contractions crossing some kind of barrier is lurking in the back of my
mind.  Were I a better syntax student, I could probably figure out why, but
this *is* summer vacation.

On a separate, but mildly related, tangent, does anyone know anything about
the "gonna to" phenomena?  ex. "I'm gonna to do it.".  I searched the archives
with no luck.

Douglas S. Bigham
Department of Linguistics
University of Texas - Austin

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