Definitions starting with A

ID #1000

a (1)

preverbal progressive marker. Also spelled are. /a/ [Car.; from the covergence of an African preverbal marker (e.g. Ewe a habitual marker WES) and arch. Engl. a ("He's a-going"), possibly reinforced by are /ah/ in the present progressive; Guy. "a marks both continuative and iterative verb phrases" (Bickerton 1975:34)] indicates an action in progress. Rare: 1918 You see what I bin a-do? (Parsons 19). 1954 Is the same King now what are reign now (Crowley 225). Just they walk in the door, they start a-trying to rap with the girls (Nassau). See BEEN-A,. KEEP A-DO

Tags: grammar, preverbal

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Last update: 2011-08-29 01:37
Author: Holm and Shilling, DBE, 1982
Revision: 1.6

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