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Newfoundland and Labrador English$
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Sandra Clarke

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748626168

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748626168.001.0001

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(p.67) 3 Morphosyntax
Newfoundland and Labrador English

Sandra Clarke

Andrew Erskine

Edinburgh University Press

Vernacular Newfoundland English displays many grammatical features that do not occur in contemporary standard English. Most have been inherited from the regional speech of southwest England and southeast Ireland. This chapter describes the principal morphological and syntactic characteristics of this variety. Though non-standard morphological features are found in all lexical categories, they are particularly in evidence for verbs (e.g. regularisation of irregular past forms, non-past habitual –s suffix, habitual bees/do(n’t) be, the Irish-origin after perfect, bin (‘been’) as a perfect auxiliary), as well as pronouns (e.g. pronoun exchange, grammatical gender in inanimates, existential it, 2nd person forms ye, yous and (d)ee). Among the syntactic features illustrated are negative concord, verb inversion in embedded questions, the complementiser for to, and the Irish-origin “subordinating and” construction.

Keywords:   morphological features, syntactic features, irregular past verb forms, habitual verb forms, pronoun exchange, grammatical gender, existential pronouns, 2nd person pronouns, negative concord

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