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Friday, October 11 • 2:05pm - 2:30pm
Fisher: Parallel development? Two cases of perfect-to-past reanalysis in African American English

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Parallel development? Two cases of perfect-to-past reanalysis in African American English

This paper argues that a reanalysis of ain’t in present perfect contexts in African American English gave rise to the use of ain’t in past tense contexts, parallel to the reanalysis of pluperfect constructions (had+V-ed) as preterits. Both shifts to past meaning are examined using recordings of casual speech from 42 speakers of AAE in Philadelphia. Apparent time analysis of past tense tokens shows significant increases in use of ain’t by birth year during the 20th century. Likewise, younger corpus speakers are more likely to use had+V-ed in orientation clauses of narratives to convey past rather than pluperfect meaning. This paper questions whether these parallel shifts from past to perfect meaning could result from a single underlying change in the grammar of AAE.

Speakers
SF

Sabriya Fisher

Wellesley College


Friday October 11, 2019 2:05pm - 2:30pm
EMU Crater Lake S
  • Session type Talk
  • Chair: Sonja Lanehart


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