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date: 18 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Tense, mood, and aspect is expressed in African American Language through overt markers and auxiliaries, as well as through default values assigned to unmarked predicates. Type I predicates have a default non-completive aspect/present tense interpretation that is redundantly marked by variable occurrence of the copula auxiliary is/are. Type II predicates have a default completive aspect/past tense interpretation that is redundantly marked by the completive marker done and the –ed suffix. Type III predicates have a default habitual aspect interpretation which is redundantly marked by variable occurrence of the –s suffix. Type IV predicates are marked non-completive aspect/present tense by default and are redundantly marked as such by the –s suffix. Selection of overt markers and complements is restricted to particular phrase types based on their value for the features [+/-verb] and [+/- stative].

Keywords: African American Language, tense, mood, aspect, copula absence, completive aspect, habitual aspect, predicate types

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