LINGUIST List 15.2264

Mon Aug 9 2004

Diss: Lang Description: McPhee: 'Predicate...'

Editor for this issue: Takako Matsui <>


  1. hamcphee14, Predicate Marking in the Bahamian Basilect...

Message 1: Predicate Marking in the Bahamian Basilect...

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2004 12:20:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: hamcphee14 <>
Subject: Predicate Marking in the Bahamian Basilect...

Institution: University of the West Indies at Mona
Program: Ph.D. in Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Helean Arlesa McPhee 

Dissertation Title: Predicate Marking in the Bahamian Basilect: 
An Integrated Approach

Linguistic Field: Language Description, Syntax 
Dissertation Director 1: Hubert Devonish 
Dissertation Director 2: Silvia Kouwenberg
Dissertation Director 3: Kathryn Shields-Brodber

Dissertation Abstract: 

This thesis examines predicate marking in Bahamian Creole data, paying
particular attention to Tense, Aspect and Modal Markers, using an
integrated approach. The integrated approach assumes interaction
between semantics, discourse and syntax, yet insists on maintaining
clear distinctions between these levels in linguistic analysis. It
also assumes that semantics is basic in linguistic analysis. The
integrated approach produces results which indicate a general lack of
correspondence between the levels of semantics, syntax and
discourse. For example, the semantic Modal go is treated by speakers
as a syntactic predicator, and a Tense marker at the level of
discourse. Similarly, a lack of correspondence was found with the
semantic Tense marker bin and the semantic Aspect marker don and the
semantic Modals hafta, gata, kyan, kud, na and iyng. Given these
observations, a simple Tense-Aspect order is proposed for
pre-predicate markers at the level of syntax. Nevertheless, the
question is raised as to whether syntactic pre-predicate markers
co-occur at all in Bahamian. In addition, the thesis measures the
adequacy of its description against data cited in competing
descriptions of related varieties such as Guyanese and
Jamaican. Descriptions proposed for these languages are also assessed
on the basis of their ability to successfully account for the Bahamian
data. The tentative conclusion is that the description proposed for
Bahamian is more successful in accounting for data across the various
varieties than is any competing description.
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