sexta-feira, 6 de novembro de 2009

African American Vernacular English - Part 1

African American Vernacular English - AAVE

The Black English Vernacular is colloquially known as Ebonics. This term is not usually used by linguists (professionals who work on Languages Arts and their roots, including lexicon, philology, grammatical features, and so forth). Ebonics is a portmanteau / combination of “Ebony” and “Phonics”.

When the Africans were brought to the United States, some of them spoke English, while others spoke French or other ethnolects and dialects from their own tribes. The Africans were obligated by slaveholders to speak the language the whites did so as to maintain communication amongst them all. Hence, it did not exactly happen the way the oppressors craved for.

The slaves had been making up their own sociolect that along years was named Black English, and it was recently renamed. It is called African American Vernacular English (AAVE). This ethnolect is used by black people in America. With pronunciation that in some respects is common to that of Southern American English spoken in down south of the US where the high majority of African descendents still reside, the variety is spoken by many African-Americans in the United States of America. AAVE also has pronunciation characteristics in common with various West African English and Creole English dialects spoken by blacks in much of the world.

Rappers and hip-hoppers when they "spit a flow" they speak with a strong accent and have a different lexicon peppered with slang. This dialect follows rules that differ to Standard's, which sometimes even Americans do not understand the actual meaning. Rappers such as Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, and others have been using Ebonics on their songs. That's what makes people who are only versed in Standard English feel confused due to the fact that the speech these rappers have is based on rules of African American Vernacular English.

Even though, sociolinguists such as William Labov and others have spent a lifetime studying AAVE and have proven what it really is and where it came from, there are still a bunch of ignorant-asses who look down upon those who use this ethnolect.

The image on the top of the page shows exactly from what common sense can see Black English Vernacular. Language is power. That is, while the white supremacy reigns, the White English will be seen as Prestige English.

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato

ESL Teacher

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