"Future of preference for many"

From: Edward Hobbs (EHOBBS@wellesley.edu)
Date: Wed Sep 06 1995 - 19:17:23 EDT

May I add a footnote to Edgar Krentz's comments on the changes in the
future tense of American English?
        He points out that "go" plus the infinitive is the future of
preference for many Americans these days, as in "I'm going to east
[corr: "eat"] pizza tonight."
        In fact, linguists working on American English these days
have a different auxiliary for the future to study: "gonna". I myself
must have read a hundred articles on the various ways "gonna" operates.
What began as "I am {=currently} going to {moving in the direction of}
do thus-and-so" as a replacement of "I shall do thus-and-so" becomes
"I am gonna do thus-and-so." In effect, "gonna" replaces "shall."
"Wanna" is another such auxiliary, a modal = "wish", "desire".

        We even have the new (nasty) noun, a "wannabe".

Edward Hobbs

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