"baby mama" vis-a-vis "baby's mama"

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Fri May 2 22:23:34 UTC 2008

Yes, I should have mentioned contextual and stylistic variation as well--that 
is so much a fundamental part of the concept of linguistic variation that I 
didn't make it explicit. The only way that youi could maintain that, for Roy 
Byrd, AAVE does not have a possessive marker would be to say that, when he uses 
one, he is shifting to a different dialect--which would be ridiculous.

In a message dated 5/2/08 4:07:04 PM, bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU writes:

> On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 3:16 PM,  <RonButters at aol.com> wrote:
> >
> >  It may be a small point, but it should be kept in mind that the absence 
> of a
> >  overt possessive marker in AAVE is variable, not categorical (depending 
> on
> >  the age, geographical location, and social positioning of the speaker). 
> The
> >  assertion that "the right way to compare the grammars is just to see them 
> as
> >  having different ways for expressing a syntactic relationship" is true 
> only for
> >  those speakers of varieties of AAVE who have no possessive overt 
> possessive
> >  marker [z] whatever.
> And it might also vary in the speech of a given speaker, based on
> contextual factors. In the 1950 R&B song "Bald Head", Roy Byrd (later
> better known as Professor Longhair) sings the chorus "Where's that
> girl hair?" several times. But elsewhere in the song he refers to "a
> good friend of mine's wife." (I'm sure Wilson will correct me if I've
> misheard the lyrics!) Not sure what the constraints here might be --
> perhaps Byrd's use of the overt marker was triggered by that
> particular type of possessive construction. Arnold Zwicky talked about
> the construction in this Language Log post ("A friend of mine's pet
> bear"):
> http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003814.html
> --Ben Zimmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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