Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 18:01:33 -0500 From: Beverly Flanigan Subject: Re: Survey help again--new participant I've already sent my responses to Sonja Lanehart privately, but I'm interested in Mike Salovesh's replies on the survey, particularly those referring to "Chicago Ebonics." Sometimes we hear a lack of tense marking, or the use of uninflected "be," and assume they apply in all contexts (as the "Mad Monk" did some time back). Does Mr. S. really hear "[He] in his office yesterday" or "I don't be eat ..." or "He done sell" (instead of "sold") in Chicago African Americans' speech? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but past tense would not have zero marking, nor would "be" be used without pres. prog. -ing, or "done" with the infinitive instead of the past participle in most (if not all?) varieties of AAE. (I questioned sentence 3 too, but thought it might be used in narrative speech, where present (prog.) and past tense may alternate.) Non-native English may, of course, not inflect for plurals and may not be able to handle sounds like 'th' in 'thick'; and I too wondered if 'bong' was meant to be 'bang.' A query too: I've never heard the term "Platform English." What is the history of this term? I assume it's the equivalent of "Media English" or an assumed "General (Midwest) American"? Or does it refer only to "coached English," for example, for elocution or debate?