- Website: http://www.johnrickford.com
Posts by John Rickford:
On the Variationist List, Benjamin Torbert (11/6) made the following request, and I gave (11/8) the reply below it, which I'd now like to share with Language Log folks in the hope that someone may be able to add more. Torbert's query:
I have [at least] two grad students who teach in majority (read, 100%) AfAm classrooms in StL, and they bring up things about AA(V)E, and they're seldom able to stump me, but this time, I wasn't able to give a complete answer. They were asking me about what is apparently known as deictic go.
1) There go your pencil.
2) Here go your permission slip.
These more or less paraphrase in mainstream American English (ugh, the label, I know) with a form of be, namely is, probably contracted most likely.
Is there any scholarly work on this feature, beyond a basic description of the feature? I was vaguely aware of it, but I don't remember anyone talking about it in six years of gradskool, when we were talking about AAE more or less nonstop. The only thing I could find was a 1975 article (Clark/Garnica), and it seems to address different issues.
Yesterday, I posted on Speakout/Truthout about Rachel Jeantel's African American Vernacular English use in the Zimmerman trial/verdict: "Race, Credibility, Communication and Evidence in the Zimmerman Trial, and Beyond", 7/30/2013.
Readers of my Language Log post of July 10 — written before the verdict was announced — may recall that I felt that despite its vernacular character, Jeantel's testimony would be understood by the jury, but that they might not relate to her. Turns out I was both right and wrong. They didn't relate to her, didn't even find her credible, but they (at least Juror B37) also found her difficult to understand.
Following up on "Rachel Jeantel’s language in the Zimmerman trial", LLOG readers may welcome an opportunity to hear Rachel Jeantel in person, tonight on CNN — "Tonight at 9: Piers Morgan welcomes Rachel Jeantel and a live studio audience":
Less than 48 hours removed from seeing the jury in the George Zimmerman trial return a "not guilty" verdict, this evening "Piers Morgan Live" will welcome Rachel Jeantel – and a live audience – for a live hour dedicated entirely to the case that continues to divide and enthrall the nation.
In her first public comments since testifying, tonight the young woman who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin shortly before his death will join Piers Morgan for a live, exclusive interview as a collection of guests surround her throughout the studio.
[Below is a guest post by John Rickford.]
The defense plans to rest in the Florida trial of George Zimmerman today, and arguments are raging about whether he will be found guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin or not.
In the case of Rachel Jeantel, however, the 19-year old prosecution witness whose testimony on June 26 and 27 went on longer (5 to 6 hours) and generated more commentary in the media than any other witness, the GUILTY verdict is already in.