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Relativization strategies in Earlier African American Vernacular English


Tottie, Gunnel; Rey, Michel (1997). Relativization strategies in Earlier African American Vernacular English. Language Variation and Change, 9(2):219-247.

Abstract

This article, which examines the system of relative markers in Early African American English as documented in the Ex-Slave Recordings (Bailey et al., 1991), is intended as a contribution to two areas of research: African American Vernacular English and the system of relativization in English. We found a significantly higher incidence of zero marking in adverbial relatives than in non-adverbial relatives. Among non-adverbial relatives, a variable rule analysis showed that non-humanness of the head as well as the function of the head as subject complement or subject in an existential sentence strongly favored zero relatives, and that prepositional complement heads disfavored zeroes. The lack of wh-relatives aswell as the frequency of zero subject relatives is interpreted as evidence that African American Vernacular English is a dialect of English

Abstract

This article, which examines the system of relative markers in Early African American English as documented in the Ex-Slave Recordings (Bailey et al., 1991), is intended as a contribution to two areas of research: African American Vernacular English and the system of relativization in English. We found a significantly higher incidence of zero marking in adverbial relatives than in non-adverbial relatives. Among non-adverbial relatives, a variable rule analysis showed that non-humanness of the head as well as the function of the head as subject complement or subject in an existential sentence strongly favored zero relatives, and that prepositional complement heads disfavored zeroes. The lack of wh-relatives aswell as the frequency of zero subject relatives is interpreted as evidence that African American Vernacular English is a dialect of English

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Language and Linguistics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Education
Social Sciences & Humanities > Linguistics and Language
Language:English
Date:1 July 1997
Deposited On:12 Oct 2018 15:43
Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 14:47
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0954-3945
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/s0954394500001885

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