Posted in the African-American Forum
#1 Apr 20, 2013
Black Vernacular, the dialect of English often spoken by African Americans in urban and southern regions, is also known a "African American Vernacular English." Linguists abbreviate this term as AAVE in scholarly writing. John Algeo and Thomas Pyles note in The Origins and Development of the English Language that Black Vernacular in the twentieth century has been distinguished by differences in (1) diction,(2) pronunciation,(3) the use of the consuetudinal be and (4) a tendency to delete the -s ending of verbs. Examples appear from Algeo and Pyles appear below (see pages 219-220). Baugh notes additionally two other features (5) replacement of /∂/ sounds with /d/ sounds or /f/ sounds,(6) use of the emphatic done to stress completion of an act.
(1) African-American vocabulary has in many ways enriched American speech. The words nitty-gritty, jazz, and yam are all words that have entered mainstream English but which originated in African-American dialects. Much modern American slang, such as "throwback" for sports jerseys and "Benjamins" for hundred dollar bills also originate in Black Vernacular.
(2) African-American dialects tend to drop the [t] from words like rest and soft. They likewise tend to drop the [r] sound in words like bird, four, door, and father.
(3) The consuetidinal be refers to the use of an uninflected be to denote habitual or regular action. For instance, stating "She be here everyday" in black dialect implies continuous action. The consuetudinal be also refers to the tendency to delete forms of be in other uses--such as "She here now" instead of "She is here now."
(4) Black Vernacular also tends to omit the final -s ending of verbs. For instance, a speaker of Black Vernacular might say, "He hear you" rather than "He hears you."
(5) Black Vernacular often replaces /∂/ sounds with /d/ sounds or /f/ sounds. For instance, the <th> grapheme in the word that may be pronounced as dat, and the <th> in nothing and mouth may be pronounced as nuf'n and mouf.
(6) Black Vernacular often uses the emphatic done to stress completion of an act. For instance, "He done did it" provides a more forceful alternative to the Standard English "He's already done it."
For expanded discussion, see A. C. Baugh and Thomas Cable's A History of the English Language, 5th edition (Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ: 2002), pp.382-84, and John Algeo and Thomas Pyles' The Origins and Development of the English Language, 5th edition (Thompson and Wadsworth, Boston, Massachusetts: 2004): pp. 219-20.
#2 Apr 20, 2013
#3 Apr 20, 2013
The use of Black English has been overly exaggerated. People assume when they hear Black English, that all Blacks use all these patterns all the time, this is untrue. Not all Black people speak in Black English. The Black people who do speak in Black English do not speak in it consistently, they use standard English alongside BE, there might only be subtle hints of Black English present.
Many African American authors have their characters speaking eloquently in Black English. Toni Morrison's Beloved, Alice Walker's Color Purple, Maya Angelou's, I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings are all exemplary examples of Black English being spoken and written beautifully. Black English in not just heard in the streets, it is alive on the pages of great African American literature as well.
Many people believe that "Black English" is the result of poor education. The question to support their claim is, How many educated African Americans speak in Ebonics? It is believed by these people that ebonics is only spoken in poor urban African American communities.
Many people have focused on the flaws of Black English, ignoring the positive aspects of it. Black English offers a positive source of identity and pride to the African American community. The language also serves as a testament to the political and social struggles that this group had experienced.
As long as there are differences between the races, Black English will endure.
#4 Apr 20, 2013
#5 Apr 20, 2013
It be called "Ebonics" and it be RASCIT to say it is just an ignorant retarded monkey language.
an gits yo spellings right.
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