ERIC Number: ED343437
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
The Tense-Aspect System of Vernacular Black English (VBE): Divergent or Different?
Williams, Patrice D.
The divergence controversy is addressed in this holistic examination of Vernacular Black English (VBE). The debate over VBE stems from Labov's conclusion that the vernaculars of Black and White dialects in the South reveal completely different patterns of development. This study is based on patterns obtained from the writer's earlier research on older VBE speakers from the rural South and supplemented with patterns based on personal experience as an African American raised in the South. Approximately 50 VBE patterns are identified that attest to the radical difference between VBE and other nonstandard dialects, but it is concluded that divergence is a question that cannot be answered by this study alone. The findings are consistent with current theories about VBE tense-aspect, particularly those involving invariant "be." Contains 6 references. (LB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: United States (South)