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ERIC Number: ED399784
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Pages: 48
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Has It Ever Been "Perfect"? Uncovering the Grammar of Early Black English.
Tagliamonte, Sali
York Papers in Linguistics, v17 p351-396 Mar 1996
An analysis of perfect verb forms in African American Vernacular English (AAVE) looks at the distribution of forms by semantic function and co-occurrence patterns in Samana English and ex-slave recordings. Results suggest that despite the overall rarity of this category in the general realm of past time, the most frequent forms used to mark it ("have" + past participle and bare past participles) are not at all marginal in contexts "licensed" for the present perfect in standard English. Co-occurrence patterns with temporal distance, adverbs, and conjunctions also mirror those of the present perfect in standard English, while differing from those proposed for creoles. This suggests that the form "have" actually functions as a productive marker of perfect in these data. Bare past participles, with the exception of "seen" and "done," are probably the result of "have" deletion since their occurrence is highly restricted to the same perfect context. It is argued that the origins of these perfect forms and their functions must be traced to the original source in Britain, not to the influence of creoles. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A