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ERIC Number: EJ769662
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Feb
Pages: 28
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0883-2919
The Extension of the Progressive Aspect in Black South African English
van Rooy, Bertus
World Englishes, v25 n1 p37-64 Feb 2006
The extension of the progressive aspect to stative verbs has been identified as a characteristic feature of New Varieties of English across the world, including the English of black South Africans (BSAfE). This paper examines the use of the progressive aspect in BSAfE, by doing a comparative analysis of three corpora of argumentative student writing representing BSAfE (an outer circle variety), inner circle English and German Learner English as an example of expanding circle English. A comprehensive discussion of the meaning of the progressive aspect in English leads to the definition of a prototype, alongside various extensions and elaborations of the meaning of the construction. Nine attributes of the progressive are identified, which are used to analyse the data. On the basis of the co-occurrence of the attributes, 17 uses of the progressive constructions are identified, most of which are consistent with grammatical descriptions of standardised inner circle varieties, but some not. When the three corpora are compared, the BSAfE data show very different ways of using the progressive construction that are not related to the core senses of the progressive aspect, but instead display a kind of continuous aspect without temporal immediacy. It is suggested that the progressive construction is used in a way consistent with the persistitive aspect of the Bantu languages, a type of imperfective that emphasises mainly the long duration and incompleteness of a stative or durative verb. The expanding circle data, on the other hand, appear very similar to the inner circle data, except for a tendency to put the progressive construction to a slightly more limited range of uses.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa