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I've recently seen a movie character regularly use this construction (for example, "the dog is wanting to be taken out for a walk"), and I am trying to figure out which dialect or cultural background the construction is meant to signal.

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What movie did you see it in? – ShreevatsaR Dec 11 '10 at 5:58
I'm going through the TV Guide listings trying to figure it out, doesn't seem to be easy. – blueberryfields Dec 11 '10 at 6:23
I've heard this before, and it seems to be a "passivication" of the active voice in wants. – Chris Dwyer Dec 11 '10 at 15:29
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I can't conclusively say if this is a reflection of the dialect, but my mother-in-law uses this construction and she is from Arkansas.

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I think this is fairly common in speakers from north-east England and Scotland. As a child, we subscribed to the Beano comic, which was printed in Dundee, and characters would often use this sort of phrase, which sounded odd to my London-based family.

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I heave heard Indians (from India) speak like this. It's quite common in that dialect.

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The progressive tense is common, but the specific construction "is wanting" is not. You may hear "the dog is asking to be taken out for a walk" (or "waiting to be…", etc.), but "wanting to be" wouldn't be common. – ShreevatsaR Dec 11 '10 at 18:55
Ah, you are right. That is what I heard. – IamIC Dec 11 '10 at 19:53

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