Date: Tue, 22 Nov 1994 18:46:11 -0500


Subject: Re: Recent Black English

Re: Sali's and Tim Frazer's comments on BEV/AAVE habituals.

Yes, actually, Labov's analysis of habituals was referred to in the

earlier discussion, though not by Sali (but this is a list-- do we

have to make attributions here too?!). And if the point is that the

"BE" construction isn't habitual, then Labov's and others' (e.g.

Smitherman, 1997) analyses would in fact be "all wrong", and that

would be important to know (I think; anyway, that's why I said it.)

Thanks to Tim for clarifying the student's intuition. If this

is what the intuition is, then it isn't the same as Sali's subtler

distinction among Habituals; it's a denial that either type of

Habitual applies in AAVE. This seems to be wrong for the people I have

come in contact with, though since I'm not an AAVE researcher that's

just an impression so far.

Sali's semantic distinction does seem useful and apt; thanks

for clearing up that these are sub-types of Habitual. Also, it seems

perfectly well-articulated to me! I think linguists can articulate

these things as well as the next guy-- probably better. Native

speakers are useful for intuitions, and lots of other things, but give

me a linguist when it comes to articulating semantic distinctions--

every time...

--peter patrick