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PRETERITE HAD + V-ED: A DEVELOPMENTAL NARRATIVE STRUCTURE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ENGLISH

PRETERITE HAD + V-ED: A DEVELOPMENTAL NARRATIVE STRUCTURE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ENGLISH In 1996 Rickford and Rafal presented 52 occurrences of had + V-ed that were used in an unexpected preterite sense by nine African American American Speech, Vol. 79, No. 2, Summer 2004 Copyright © 2004 by the American Dialect Society american speech 79.2 (2004) preadolescents, aged 11–13 years, from East Palo Alto, California. In standard American English, had + V-ed combinations reflect the pluperfect, as in (2). 2. I had bought some jambalaya by the time the crawfish came. As discussed by Rickford and Rafal, the pluperfect form had bought establishes that one remote completed event (e.g., buying jambalaya) occurred before another completed event (e.g., arrival of crawfish), and both of these events took place before the utterance itself was produced. The use of the pluperfect is thus associated with three distinct events, each ordered temporally in relation to the others. For this reason, Comrie (1985, 78) labeled the pluperfect as an “absolute-relative” tense. What is absolute is that the pluperfect refers to the past; what is relative is that the past event is prior in time to another past event. In contrast, the preterite tense marks a completed event as occurring prior to the utterance time but http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic Usage Duke University Press

PRETERITE HAD + V-ED: A DEVELOPMENTAL NARRATIVE STRUCTURE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ENGLISH

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2004 by American Dialect Society
ISSN
0003-1283
eISSN
1527-2133
DOI
10.1215/00031283-79-2-167
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In 1996 Rickford and Rafal presented 52 occurrences of had + V-ed that were used in an unexpected preterite sense by nine African American American Speech, Vol. 79, No. 2, Summer 2004 Copyright © 2004 by the American Dialect Society american speech 79.2 (2004) preadolescents, aged 11–13 years, from East Palo Alto, California. In standard American English, had + V-ed combinations reflect the pluperfect, as in (2). 2. I had bought some jambalaya by the time the crawfish came. As discussed by Rickford and Rafal, the pluperfect form had bought establishes that one remote completed event (e.g., buying jambalaya) occurred before another completed event (e.g., arrival of crawfish), and both of these events took place before the utterance itself was produced. The use of the pluperfect is thus associated with three distinct events, each ordered temporally in relation to the others. For this reason, Comrie (1985, 78) labeled the pluperfect as an “absolute-relative” tense. What is absolute is that the pluperfect refers to the past; what is relative is that the past event is prior in time to another past event. In contrast, the preterite tense marks a completed event as occurring prior to the utterance time but

Journal

American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic UsageDuke University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2004

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