||In this paper we use the world-wide variability in the past tense paradigm of the verb be (e. g. I/you/we/they was/were) to examine the similarities and differences across four geographically separated and ethnically diverse dialects of English spoken in North Preston, Guysborough Enclave and Guysborough Village in Nova Scotia, Canada, and Buckie in northern Scotland. Through comparative linguistic analysis of the distribution of forms across the verbal paradigm, we demonstrate unexpected parallelisms across three of these varieties. We conclude that these are the result of longitudinal continuity of the verb to be. The critical factor in explaining the similarities across dialects is their relative isolation from ongoing linguistic change in the English language.
||Tots els drets reservats.
||Article ; recerca ; article ; publishedVersion
was/were variation ;
African Nova Scotian English ;
Buckie English ;
||Links & Letters, N. 5 (1998) , p. 147-165, ISSN 1133-7397