In this paper, I describe the use of agentive be (‘If you don’t be careful, you will be caught’) in informal American English. I will show that agentive be has largely the same syntactic behavior as habitual be in AAVE (African American Vernacular English). Based on these similarities, I will conclude the paper by raising a number of questions about the origin of habitual be in AAVE.
Collins, Chris. 2006. A Fresh Look at Habitual Be in AAVE. In Ana Deumert and Stephanie Durrleman (eds.), Structure and Variation in Contact Languages, Creole Language Library Series. John Benjamins.