Date: Sun, 20 Nov 1994 12:41:21 CST
From: salikoko mufwene mufw[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Subject: Re: Recent Black English
In Message Fri, 18 Nov 1994 20:55:36 CST,
"Donald M. Lance" ENGDL%MIZZOU1[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]uicvm.uic.edu writes:
I've gotten similar reactions to what Tim Frazer reported regarding VBE.
One shouldn't be surprised that a "lect" changes in a generation, particularly
in salient usages that have the potential for social stigmatization. Is
the VBE lect of today's college-age African Americans supposed to be the
same as that of their parents' generation? The item that was called to my
attention was habitual BE, as in Tim's case.
Change is possible, but it is also possible that the construction was
just not well understood by influential outsiders who describe the variety.
I think that Arthur Spears' notion of "camouflaged" construction applies
to much more than "come + V-in" constructions.
Salikoko S. Mufwene
University of Chicago
Dept. of Linguistics
1010 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]uchicago.edu
312-702-8531; fax: 312-702-9861