This provocative volume investigates the origins of contemporary
African American Vernacular English (AAVE), one of the oldest, yet unsolved, questions in sociolinguistics.
Exploring the hypothesis that contemporary AAVE is a direct descendant of colonial British English rather than of a widespread Creole precursor, this volume presents a comprehensive analysis of tense and aspect as manifested in recorded conversations with 101 former slaves and their descendants. The study is staged in three distinct "diaspora" enclaves in Canada and the Caribbean, whose language has evolved independently of AAVE, modern Creoles and neighboring speech varieties. Advanced quantitative methodology, combined with linguistically precise analyses of English dialects in historical context, make this an essential text for researchers and students of linguistics, the history of English and African American Studies.
List of Figures.
List of Tables.
2. African Americans in the Samaná Peninsula.
3. African Americans in Nova Scotia: Settlement and Data.
4. External Controls.
6. The Past Tense.
7. The Present Tense.
8. The Future Tense.
9. Conclusions: An Essay on the Origins and Development of African American