"He BE working. He just don't STAY working."

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Feb 8 05:17:57 UTC 2013

On Feb 7, 2013, at 11:27 PM, Salikoko Mufwene wrote:

> On 2/7/2013 9:27 PM, Benjamin Torbert wrote:
>> On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 8:56 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>wrote:
>>> I thought the caps were to indicate contrastive focal stress. There's
>>> another verbal marker in AAE/BE, "BIN" (for remote past), that is always
>>> capitalized because (according to a presentation on it I just heard today
>>> by one of our grad students who will be posting it as a page on the Yale
>>> Grammatical Diversity site soon) it always gets focal stress.
>>> LH
>> This makes sense.  And here, the difference in focal stress is because of
>> the contrast of BE working and STAY working.  Which is the point of the
>> whole statement.
> I'm not sure that this BE for repeated states of affairs (different from
> a simple habitual) is always stressed, unlike the "remote phase BIN,"
> although in Wilson's example it had to be stressed, to highlight the
> contrast with STAY as another continuative marker. I read the example as
> highlighting the semantic difference between the two markers, which are
> not synonymous.

That was my take too.  Sorry if I didn't express it clearly, but there's no disagreement here.  (I should have stressed the difference between the contrastive stress in the given example token and the obligatory stress on BIN.)

> --
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> Salikoko S. Mufwene                    s-mufwene at uchicago.edu
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> Professor, Committee on Evolutionary Biology
> Professor, Committee on the Conceptual & Historical Studies of Science
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