Tense and Aspect Use in Adult Speaker Narratives in Cherbourg Aboriginal English

Bellingham, Erika (2010). Tense and Aspect Use in Adult Speaker Narratives in Cherbourg Aboriginal English Honours Thesis, School of Languages and Comp Cultural Studies, The University of Queensland.

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Author Bellingham, Erika
Thesis Title Tense and Aspect Use in Adult Speaker Narratives in Cherbourg Aboriginal English
School, Centre or Institute School of Languages and Comp Cultural Studies
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Open Access Status Other
Supervisor Pensalfini, Rob
Total pages 103
Abstract/Summary This study considers the variety of Aboriginal English spoken in Cherbourg, QLD based on several recordings made in the late 1980s of interviews with and oral narratives told by residents. The morpho-syntactic features of the variety are described in the context of how they vary from a) existing broader descriptions of Aboriginal English across Australia, and b) descriptions of the Cherbourg variety from data collected in the 1960s, with particular attention paid to patterns of tense and progressive aspectual marking. The majority of morpho-syntactic features are found to be used as described in the existing literature on acrolectal varieties of Aboriginal English. Some variation is observed in the use of determiners, and tense marking appears to follow a slightly different pattern to that which was previously described. The majority of morpho-syntactic variations have been described previously in other non-standard varieties of English, including some from nonstandard, non-Aboriginal varieties within Australia, and some only from non-standard varieties in other regions of the world. The discourse strategies employed in narrative closely mirror those previously described in other Aboriginal English varieties as well as some of the strategies described in traditional Aboriginal storytelling practices. The historical present is used in narrative in much the same way as in Standard Australian English and American English. Progressive aspect is used frequently in narrative, however it rarely combines with the historical present tense, and auxiliaries are often omitted.

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Created: Thu, 14 Apr 2011, 11:08:32 EST by Meredith Downes on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures