pdf Class_6[AFRICAN_AMERICAN_ENGLISH]

pdf Class_6[AFRICAN_AMERICAN_ENGLISH] - African American...

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African American English (AAE) LIN 200 Feb 24, 2009 JC Weisenberg
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What is African American English ? • One of the oldest dialects of English found in the US. AAE dates back to the earliest contact between enslaved Africans and Europeans - some four centuries. • A social variety or sociolect spoken by a majority of African Americans in the United States. • A dialect with its own phonology, grammar, and vocabulary. • A rule-governed , systematic language system like all other dialects and language varieties. • A culturally transmitted way of communicating.
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What’s in a name? BE: Black English (1960s-70s) Ebonics: (Ebony + Phonics) dubbed in 1970s by activist educators; term commonly used by non-linguists. BEV: Black English Vernacular (1960s-70s) BVE: Black Vernacular English (1960s-70s) AAVE: African American Vernacular English (1980s) AAE: African American English (Late 1990s) BL: Black Language (21 st Century; Alim 2005)
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AAE: African American English • Refers to the full range of standard and non-standard or “vernacular” varieties used (mainly) by people of African American descent in the US. • Currently the term preferred by most linguists.
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Black Language (BL) Used by hip hop linguist Samy Alim in his recent book “You Know my Steez” (2005). “Steez , in particular, though, has a broader application that means something closer to ‘a mode of being in one’s everydayness’. Yo steez not only refers to how you talk or how you walk, but more generally, it’s how you do yo thang, how you let it hang—how you let it swang. It’s what others come to expect from you, cuz that’s just who you be. By being heavily involved in the lives of the Sunnyside youth, I have attempted not only to capture they speech style, but they steez, who they bees.” (2005:5)
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Who speaks AAE? • A majority of African Americans living in the US. • Many African Americans also speak a standard variety of American English and can codeswitch between AAE and SE. • Some African Americans speak only SE.
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Do non-African Americans speak AAE? • In NYC many Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and others who live in or near African American communities learn AAE as a second language or second dialect . • Young people who affiliate with hip hop (Asians, Latinos, whites and others) often learn the lexicon (especially slang ), and phonology of AAE, but not necessarily the full range of grammatical features.
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• West African (Niger Congo) languages – Verbal markers instead of inflection • British English dialects – E.g. uninflected be (in place of am, is, are), use of ain’t • Some pronunciation and grammatical patterns from local dialects from the British Isles - especially Scots Irish English. – The Ulster Scots brought habitual
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This note was uploaded on 09/27/2009 for the course LIM 200 taught by Professor Weisenberg during the Spring '09 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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pdf Class_6[AFRICAN_AMERICAN_ENGLISH] - African American...

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