Irrealis and emphatic: A corpus study of the bee copula in Belizean Kriol

William Salmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tis paper presents the first in-depth account of the bee copula form found in Belizean Kriol, which appears to be a copular development not found in other Caribbean English Creoles. Based on approximately 500 tokens of bee from Di Nyoo Testiment (2012), we argue that bee must appear in irrealis contexts. It is frequently used to mark a potential change of state, though this is not a conventional aspect of bee's meaning. We also show that while bee seems to be emphatic, this aspect of bee's meaning is best understood as derived via Gricean (1975) reasoning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-349
Number of pages27
JournalEnglish World-Wide
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© John Benjamins Publishing Company.


  • Belizean Kriol
  • Conversational implicature
  • Copula
  • Creole
  • Emphatic
  • Future
  • Irrealis


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