Zero copula is a feature of English-based creoles which has figured in the African American Vernacular English (AAVE) origins debate. While much attention has been paid to the effects of the following grammatical category, the lack of a comparative base highlights the need for more quantitative studies in the Caribbean. We analyze zero copula on the eastern Caribbean island of Bequia, where a mesolectal creole variety coexists with a nonstandard English variety. Our results show that the relative ordering of factors within the following grammatical category is parallel in the two varieties, but predicate adjectives are treated differently. We suggest reconsidering the inference of a creole origin for zero copula in AAVE on the basis of the following grammatical category and reevaluating the theoretical notion of the creole continuum.
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Research Article| May 01 2006
ZERO COPULA IN THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN: EVIDENCE FROM BEQUIA
American Speech (2006) 81 (2): 146–163.
JAMES A. WALKER, MIRIAM MEYERHOFF; ZERO COPULA IN THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN: EVIDENCE FROM BEQUIA. American Speech 1 May 2006; 81 (2): 146–163. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-2006-010
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