Pas RA9 - original African tongues. Most importantly...

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JP Lyninger III African American Art to 1920 Reading Assignment 9 Ivan Vansertima’s essay on the speech patterns and speech of African descendents in North America battles misconceptions about how dialects and stories have developed in black society since slavery. The misconception is that these new developments share little to no ancestry to African culture, but are instead pale and imperfect imitation of white, Euro-centric culture. First examined is the black dialect of English. Vamsertima states that physiological impediments, such as ‘thick lips’ and ‘oversized tongues,’ were the focus of many myths about the sound and structure of black English. Vamsertima goes on to explain the true linguistic reasons behind the dialectal differences, with the roots in the
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Unformatted text preview: original African tongues. Most importantly highlighted are the grammatical and syntactical structures that retain African elements, particularly a lower threshold for gender differences, loss of conjunctive words between subject and predicate, no denotation of third person, and tonal markers in language. There are also African words that have become part of English, particularly slang like OK, or dig as an opening exclamation. Next, folk myth is shown to have African roots. Although surface themes and motifs show non-African environmental elements, the deeper messages and concepts appear to have African roots. Furthermore, those messages and concepts are more complex than prejudicial scholarship suggests. Vamsertima goes on to show specific examples of Bantu culture in black American folklore....
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This note was uploaded on 06/01/2008 for the course PAS 310 taught by Professor Douglas during the Summer '07 term at University of Louisville.

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Pas RA9 - original African tongues. Most importantly...

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