Article published in:World Englishes: New theoretical and methodological considerations
Edited by Elena Seoane and Cristina Suárez-Gómez
[Varieties of English Around the World G57] 2016
► pp. 61–84
He don’t like football, does he? A corpus-based study of third person singular don’t in the language of British teenagers
This paper compares the use of third person don’t versus doesn’t in the language of British teenagers and adults, based on the analysis of data from three comparable corpora. Findings indicate that third person don’t is used significantly more by teenagers than adults. This tendency is seen not only in declarative clauses but also in question tags, although to a lesser extent. Furthermore, in London teen talk the subject of the clause and the occurrence of another negative in the don’t sentence (negative concord) appear to play a significant role, while the type of main verb of the clause is somewhat secondary. Finally, while the speaker’s gender appears to be of no importance in the choice of third person don’t or doesn’t, the speaker’s ethnic group does seem to play an important role.
Keywords: negation, non-standard English, spoken English, variation, youth language
Published online: 25 May 2016
Cited by other publications
Palacios Martínez, Ignacio M.
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