American varieties: African American English, ebony + phonics.

 Another good example of the original Mat-Su Valley English.

Classical Southern andAfrican American Vernacular English (AAVE)

American English (and most other varieties of English) has on each syllable of a word, primarystress, secondary stress, or no stress. Only one syllable in the word can haveprimary stress, and this is the syllable that is pronounced with the greatestintensity or loudness. The other syllables can have either secondary stress orno stress. An example is the word “”, pronounced .This word has 8 syllables, divided with hyphens as .It has one syllable with primary stress, , marked with bold and underline in the dictionaryspelling and with before it in the IPA. It hasthree syllables with secondary stress, syllables 1, 3, and 7, marked with boldin the dictionary spelling and with before themin the IPA, and four with no stress, syllables 2, 4, 6, and 8. As is true withmany words in English, especially long ones, every other syllable is weak(unstressed).

Because of this prejudice there is a big push in the African American community to be “bidialectal” -- fluent in both Standard English and AAVE.

African American Vernacular English

Problems With AAVE AAVE in School/Teaching Where there has been a great deal of discussion in the media and among the American public about the l8 December l996 decision of the Oakland School Board to recognize the language variety spoken by many African American students and to take it into account in teaching Standard English, the Linguistic Society of America, as a society of scholars engaged in the scientific study of language, hereby resolves to make it known that: The variety known as "Ebonics," "African American Vernacular English" (AAVE), and "Vernacular Black English" and by other names is systematic and rule-governed like all natural speech varieties.

In either case, research has shown that African American children are particularly vulnerable to this misinterpretation. According to Holly Craig, researcher, associate professor, and director of the Communicative Disorders Clinic at the University of Michigan, this is “because about a third of African American English features have the potential to delete grammatical forms, when you use standard English as your comparison, it's easy to misunderstand that this child is simply using a dialect appropriately”.


African-American English - Wikipedia

It is unclear exactly how AAVE relates to other varieties of English. One argument, put forth by Kurath, Labov, and McDavid, is that AAVE is essentially identical to nonstandard varieties of Southern American English. A similar claim is that the speech of blacks in the American South has had a great deal of influence in the speech of non-blacks living there.

African-American Vernacular English



Most Americans are familiar with its historic name, Ebonics, which in recent years has become accepted as African American Vernacular English.

What is Ebonics (African American English)

This is due to linguists recognizing it as a sociocultural form of the English language.
Example continued:
Student 1 was able to answer question one, but unable to answer question two.

as 'African American Vernacular English' ..

In such a situation a community of second language learners might graft what English vocabulary that could be garnered from transient encounters onto the few grammatical patterns which are common to the languages of West Africa.

with or diverging from other vernacular varieties of American English

AAVE has survived and thrived through the centuries also as a result of various degrees of isolation from Southern American English and Standard American English — through both “self-segregation from and marginalization by mainstream society” (Trudgill 108). Still, most speakers of AAVE are bidialectal, since they use Standard American English to varying degrees as well as AAVE. This method of linguistic adaptation in different environments is called code-switching. Each dialect, or code, is applied in different settings. Speakers of both dialects acknowledge when to use which dialect in what environment (Romaine 109). Generally speaking, the degree of exclusive use of AAVE decreases with the rise in socioeconomic status, although almost all speakers of AAVE at all “socioeconomic levels readily understand Standard American English” (Coulmas 41). Many blacks, regardless of socioeconomic status, educational background, or geographic region, use some form of AAVE to various degrees in informal and intra-ethnic communication (Romaine 111). The use of AAVE, as with the use of SAE, can also be a conscious choice. The level of usage of any dialect is subject to the speaker’s volition. In certain situations, speakers of AAVE may deem it more appropriate to use SAE, and in other instances (most likely among other African Americans) use AAVE.

African American Vernacular English: A brief overview …

The Oakland resolution declared that AAVE was not English, and was not an Indo-European language at all, asserting that the speech of black children belonged to "West and Niger-Congo African Language Systems" (Coulmas 51). This claim was quickly ruled inconsistent with current linguistic theory, that AAVE is a dialect of English and thus of Indo-European origin. Furthermore, the differences between modern AAVE and Standard English are nowhere near as great as those between French and Haitian Creole, the latter being considered a separate language. The statement that "African Language Systems are genetically based" also contributed to widespread hostility (Coulmas 53). Supporters of the resolution later clarified that "genetically" was not a racial or biological term but a linguistic one (53).