ERIC Number: ED410749
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
The Origin of American Black English: Be-Forms in the HOODOO Texts.
The study examines origins of the usage patterns of "be" forms (conjugated and invariant forms of the copula) in Black English as they developed over a period of about 30 years. The corpus studied consists of selected interviews from a collection of recordings about Hoodoo, conjuration, witchcraft, and rootwork made by a white priest with almost exclusively black informants in several southern and northern states in the 1930s and 1940s and again in 1970. An introductory chapter gives background to the topic and discusses terminology used. The second chapter describes the corpus and study methodology. Chapter three begins with several hypotheses concerning the invariant "be" and examines its usage patterns in the corpus under study. Conjugated, contracted, and zero-forms are considered in chapter four. Appended materials include a list of informants, notes on the tagging system, and a list of invariant "be"-forms. Contains 419 references. (MSE)
Descriptors: Black Dialects, Diachronic Linguistics, English, Folk Culture, Foreign Countries, Language Patterns, Language Research, Language Usage, Language Variation, Linguistic Theory, Verbs
Mouton de Gruyter, 200 Saw Mill River Rd., Hawthorne, NY 10532.
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A