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date: 29 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter, we build on earlier research and approaches to structure and meaning in African American English (AAE) in presenting an overview of syntactic and semantic properties in certain areas of the AAE grammar. In the first part of the chapter, we discuss the system of tense and aspect marking in AAE in light of preverbal markers. In addressing the meaning associated with the markers, their syntactic placement, restriction on selection, and morphological properties, we highlight generalizations that identify the tense/aspect markers as members of a grammatical class and distinguish them from auxiliaries such as do, have, and forms of be (is, am, etc.). The second part of the chapter is an overview of syntactic and semantic properties of complex clauses in AAE that are formed with embedded question constructions and negation constructions.

Keywords: African American English (AAE), complex clauses, embedded question constructions, negation constructions, tense and aspect marking

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