The development of an extended time period meaning of the progressive in Black South African English

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This chapter examines the use of the progressive aspect in Black South African English (BSAfE) since the late 19th century in corpora of fiction and newspapers. Previous research points to on-going change in native varieties and the extension to stative contexts in non-native varieties of English. The findings are: There has been a consistent increase in the frequency of the construction. Stative and achievement verbs are used in the progressive aspect proportionally more often in BSAfE than in native varieties. The progressive with stative verbs encodes states of longer duration alongside the meaning of temporary duration which is conventional in native varieties. The functional differences are not a recent or gradual innovation, but are present from the earliest available BSAfE data. Keywords: Black South African English; progressive aspect; stative verbs; duration


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