chapter  2
16 Pages

PATTERNS OF VERB RAISING WITH AUXILIARY “BE”

In this chapter, I reprise the “hybrid” analysis of verbal morphology that I presented in Lasnik (1995e), where Infl can be either a bundle of syntactic features, as in Chomsky (1993) (in which case it attracts a verb), or an affix, as in Chomsky (1955, 1957) (in which case a low-level process of Affix Hopping associates it with a verb). In terms of this theory, I suggest an account for the patterning of habitual be in African-American English (AAE). Based on the work of Green (1993), I propose an AAE habitual morpheme “Hab” and suggest that its morpho-syntactic behavior is parallel to that of the imperative morpheme (a zero affixal morpheme). In the course of the presentation, I offer a speculation about the nature of do support, suggesting that it is merely the phonetic manifestation of a finite Infl (or Imp or Hab) that has not been able to undergo Affix Hopping. I also bring new data to bear on the old puzzle that adverbs do not block Affix Hopping, a process normally requiring adjacency. The new data suggest that, contrary to initial appearance, adjacency might actually obtain in these cases.