The Role of Successive Bilingualism in Dialect Variation: The Case of AAVE.
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A traditional assumption, widespread among linguists and non-linguists alike, is that non-standard dialects are subject to much more individual variation than standard varieties. This thesis is concerned with a non-standard dialect of American English called the African-American Vernacular of English (i.e. AAVE) and investigates the amount of individual variation in this particular variety. The following discussion is based on the findings of a theoretical study on the use of two grammatical properties, aspectual-Be and the null copula, by speakers of AAVE in the state of Mississippi and demonstrates how successive bilingualism can explain the high degree of individual variation typically found in non-standard linguistic varieties.