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Re: AAVE aspect markers

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Sunday, December 29, 2002, 21:29
Quoting Eamon Graham <robertg@...>:

> Morgan Palaeo Associates wrote: > > > > I've never heard of Gullah before (not surprising, you probably have > > to be American) but a quick search of the Conlang archives turns up a > > few matches, so that's OK. > > When I studied in Charleston, SC I had the great fortune of reading > an excellent book on the survival of African linguistic traits in > Gullah with a fairly large lexicon and discussion of phonology. I > took notes, so if anyone was every interested let me know. The name > of the book escapes me at the moment.
Although such claims of links to African languages have some credible foundation, they are very frequently pushed too far, often for political reasons. The main problem associated with them is that in most of the American colonies, there were never large concentrations of speakers sharing the same African language family, much less the same language. An ancillary problem is that the proponents of these theories try to compare the creoles that later developed with Standard English, which is curious since standardization didn't begin to happen in English until Mr. Johnson came around with his dictionary in 1755, and large slave populations were already in place well before that date. Here is a good essay that deals with some of these issues: <> ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637