Date: Sat, 19 Nov 1994 08:34:24 -0600 From: Natalie Maynor Subject: Re: Recent Black English > 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. It's quite unlikely that the speech of college-age African Americans is exactly like that of their parents' generation, but I find the particular example (use of invariant "be") surprising. Although I haven't collected any data recently, these college-age speakers represent the same group that Guy Bailey and I looked at extensively when they were approximately junior-high age. At that time we found that their use of invariant "be" was more frequent and more predictable (habitual action) than that of their grandparents. We didn't collect as much data from their parents' generation. --Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]