African-American Vernacular English (AAVE, /ˈɑːveɪ, ˈæv/), known less precisely as Black Vernacular, Black English Vernacular (BEV), Black Vernacular English (BVE) or colloquially Ebonics (a controversial term), is the variety (dialect, ethnolect and sociolect) of English natively spoken by most working- and middle-class African Americans and some Black Canadians, particularly in urban communities.
Having its own unique grammatical, vocabulary and accent features, African-American Vernacular English is employed by middle-class African Americans as the more informal and casual end of a sociolinguistic continuum; on the formal end of this continuum, middle-class African-Americans switch to more standard English grammar and vocabulary, usually while retaining elements of the nonstandard accent.
As with most African-American English, African-American Vernacular English shares a large portion of its grammar and phonology with the rural dialects of the Southern United States, and especially older Southern American English, due to historical connections to the region.
Mainstream linguists maintain that the parallels between African-American Vernacular English and West African and English-based creole languages are real but minor, with African-American Vernacular English genealogically still falling under the English language, demonstrably tracing back to the diverse nonstandard dialects of early English settlers in the Southern United States.
However, a minority of linguists argue that the vernacular shares so many characteristics with African creole languages spoken around the world that it could have originated as its own English-based creole or semi-creole language, distinct from the English language, before undergoing a process of decreolization.
|African-American Vernacular English|
|Black Vernacular English|
|Region||Canada, United States|
|Ethnicity||African Americans, Black Canadians|
|Latin (English alphabet)|
While it is clear that there is a strong relationship between AAVE and earlier Southern U.S. dialects, the origins of AAVE are still a matter of debate.
One theory is that AAVE arose from one or more slave creole languages that arose from the Atlantic slave trade and the need for African captives, who spoke many different languages, to communicate among themselves and with their captors. According to this theory, these captives first developed what are called pidgins, simplified mixtures of languages. Since pidgins form from close contact between speakers of different languages, the slave trade would have been exactly such a situation. Dillard quotes, for example, slave ship Captain William Smith describing the sheer diversity of mutually unintelligible languages just in Gambia.
By 1715, an African pidgin had made its way into novels by Daniel Defoe, in particular, The Life of Colonel Jacque. In 1721, Cotton Mather conducted the first attempt at recording the speech of slaves in his interviews regarding the practice of smallpox inoculation.
By the time of the American Revolution, varieties among slave creoles were not quite mutually intelligible. Dillard quotes a recollection of "slave language" toward the latter part of the 18th century: "Kay, massa, you just leave me, me sit here, great fish jump up into da canoe, here he be, massa, fine fish, massa; me den very grad; den me sit very still, until another great fish jump into de canoe; but me fall asleep, massa, and no wake 'til you come...."
Not until the time of the American Civil War did the language of the slaves become familiar to a large number of educated whites. The abolitionist papers before the war form a rich corpus of examples of plantation creole. In Army Life in a Black Regiment (1870), Thomas Wentworth Higginson detailed many features of his black soldiers' language.
Another theory, the presiding one in the linguistics community, however, is that AAVE did not originate from English-based creole languages that "decreolized" back into a dialect of English; rather, most linguists maintain, AAVE has always been a dialect of English. In the early 2000s, Shana Poplack provided corpus-based evidence—evidence from a body of writing—from isolated enclaves in Samaná and Nova Scotia peopled by descendants of migrations of early AAVE-speaking groups (see Samaná English) that suggests that the grammar of early AAVE was closer to that of contemporary British dialects than modern urban AAVE is to other current American dialects, suggesting that the modern language is a result of divergence from mainstream varieties, rather than the result of decreolization from a widespread American creole.
Linguist John McWhorter maintains that the contribution of West African languages to AAVE is minimal. In an interview on National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation, Dr. McWhorter characterized AAVE as a "hybrid of regional dialects of Great Britain that slaves in America were exposed to because they often worked alongside the indentured servants who spoke those dialects..." According to Dr. McWhorter, virtually all linguists who have carefully studied the origins of AAVE "agree that the West African connection is quite minor."
Many pronunciation features distinctly set AAVE apart from other forms of American English (particularly, General American). John McWhorter argues that what truly unites all AAVE accents is a uniquely wide-ranging intonation pattern or "melody", which characterizes even the most "neutral" or light African-American accent. A handful of multisyllabic words in AAVE differ from General American in their stress placement so that, for example, police, guitar and Detroit are pronounced with initial stress instead of ultimate stress. The following are phonological differences in AAVE vowel and consonant sounds.
|Pure vowels (Monophthongs)|
|English diaphoneme||AAVE phoneme||Example words|
|/æ/||[æ~ɛː~ɛə]||act, pal, trap|
|[ɛː~ɛə~eə]||ham, land, yeah|
|/ɑː/||[a~ä~ɑ]||blah, bother, father, |
lot, top, wasp
|[ɒ(ɔ)~ɔ(ʊ)]||all, dog, bought, |
loss, saw, taught
|/ɛ/||[ɛ~eə]||dress, met, bread|
|/ə/||[ə]||about, syrup, arena|
|/ɪ/||[ɪ~iə]||hit, skim, tip|
|/iː/||[i]||beam, chic, fleet|
|/ʌ/||[ʌ~ɜ]||bus, flood, what|
|/ʊ/||[ʊ~ɵ~ø̞]||book, put, should|
|/uː/||[ʊu~u]||food, glue, new|
|/aɪ/||[äː~äe~aː]||prize, slide, tie|
|[äɪ]||price, slice, tyke|
|/aʊ/||[æɔ~æə]||now, ouch, scout|
|/eɪ/||[eɪ~ɛɪ]||lake, paid, rein|
|/ɔɪ/||[oɪ]||boy, choice, moist|
|/oʊ/||[ʌʊ~ɔʊ]||goat, oh, show|
|barn, car, heart|
|bare, bear, there|
|/ɜːr/||[ɝ]||burn, first, herd|
|better, martyr, doctor|
|fear, peer, tier|
|hoarse, horse, poor |
score, tour, war
|cure, Europe, pure|
John McWhorter discusses an accent continuum from "a 'deep' Black English through a 'light' Black English to standard English," saying the sounds on this continuum may vary from one African American speaker to the next or even in a single speaker from one situational context to the next. McWhorter regards the following as rarer features, characteristic only of a deep Black English but which speakers of light Black English may occasionally "dip into for humorous or emotive effect":
Although AAVE does not necessarily have the simple past-tense marker of other English varieties (that is, the -ed of "worked"), it does have an optional tense system with at least four aspects of the past tense and two aspects of the future tense.
|Past||Pre-recent||I been bought it|
|Recent||I done buy ita|
|Pre-present||I did buy it|
|Past Inceptive||I do buy it|
|Present||I be buying it|
|Future||Immediate||I'm a-buy it|
|Post-immediate||I'm a-gonna buy it|
|Indefinite future||I gonna buy it|
The latter example shows one of the most distinctive features of AAVE: the use of be to indicate that performance of the verb is of a habitual nature. In most other American English dialects, this can only be expressed unambiguously by using adverbs such as usually.
This aspect-marking form of been or BIN is stressed and semantically distinct from the unstressed form: She BIN running ('She has been running for a long time') and She been running ('She has been running'). This aspect has been given several names, including perfect phase, remote past, and remote phase (this article uses the third). As shown above, been places action in the distant past. However, when been is used with stative verbs or gerund forms, been shows that the action began in the distant past and that it is continuing now. Rickford (1999) suggests that a better translation when used with stative verbs is "for a long time". For instance, in response to "I like your new dress", one might hear Oh, I been had this dress, meaning that the speaker has had the dress for a long time and that it isn't new.
To see the difference between the simple past and the gerund when used with been, consider the following expressions:
|Aspect||Example||Standard English meaning|
|Habitual/continuative aspect||He be working Tuesdays.||He frequently (or habitually) works on Tuesdays.|
|Intensified continuative (habitual)||He stay working.||He is always working.|
|Intensified continuative (not habitual)||He steady working.||He keeps on working.|
|Perfect progressive||He been working.||He has been working.|
|Irrealis||He finna go to work.||He is about to go to work.a|
In addition to these, come (which may or may not be an auxiliary) may be used to indicate speaker indignation, such as in Don't come acting like you don't know what happened and you started the whole thing ('Don't try to act as if you don't know what happened, because you started the whole thing').
Negatives are formed differently from most other varieties of English:
While AAVE shares these with Creole languages, Howe & Walker (2000) use data from early recordings of African Nova Scotian English, Samaná English, and the recordings of former slaves to demonstrate that negation was inherited from nonstandard colonial English.
AAVE shares most of its lexicon with other varieties of English, particularly that of informal and Southern dialects; for example, the relatively recent use of y'all. However, it has also been suggested that some of the vocabulary unique to AAVE has its origin in West African languages, but etymology is often difficult to trace and without a trail of recorded usage, the suggestions below cannot be considered proven. Early AAVE contributed a number of African-originated words to the American English mainstream, including gumbo, goober, yam, and banjo.
AAVE has also contributed slang expressions such as cool and hip. In many cases, the postulated etymologies are not recognized by linguists or the Oxford English Dictionary, such as to dig, jazz, tote, and bad-mouth, a calque from Mandinka.
AAVE also has words that either are not part of most other American English dialects or have strikingly different meanings. For example, there are several words in AAVE referring to white people that are not part of mainstream American English; these include gray as an adjective for whites (as in gray dude), possibly from the color of Confederate uniforms; and paddy, an extension of the slang use for "Irish".
"Ofay," which is pejorative, is another general term for a white person; it might derive from the Ibibio word afia, which means "light-colored", from the Yoruba word ofe, spoken in hopes of disappearing from danger, or via Pig Latin from "foe". However, most dictionaries simply say its etymology is unknown.
AAVE has also contributed various words and phrases to other varieties of English, including chill out, main squeeze, soul, funky, and threads.
African-American Vernacular English has influenced the development of other dialects of English. The AAVE accent, New York accent, and Spanish-language accents have together yielded the sound of New York Latino English, some of whose speakers use an accent indistinguishable from an AAVE one. AAVE has also influenced certain Chicano accents and Liberian Settler English, directly derived from the AAVE of the original 16,000 African Americans who migrated to Liberia in the 1800s. In the United States, urban youth participating in hip-hop culture or marginalized as ethnic minorities, aside from Latinos, are also well-studied in adopting African-American Vernacular English, or prominent elements of it: for example, Southeast-Asian Americans embracing hip-hop identities.
African-American Vernacular English began as mostly rural and Southern, yet today is mostly urban and nationally widespread, and its more recent urban features are now even diffusing into rural areas. Urban AAVE alone is intensifying with the grammatical features exemplified in these sentences: "He be the best" (intensified equative be), "She be done had her baby" (resultative be done), and "They come hollerin" (indignant come). On the other hand, rural AAVE alone shows certain features too, such as: "I was a-huntin" (a-prefixing); "It riz above us" (different irregular forms); and "I want for to eat it" (for to complement). Using the word bees even in place of be to mean is or are in standard English, as in the sentence "That's the way it bees" is also one of the rarest of all deep AAVE features today, and most middle-class AAVE speakers would recognize the verb bees as part of only a deep "Southern" or "country" speaker's vocabulary.
New York City AAVE incorporates some local features of the New York accent, including its high THOUGHT vowel; meanwhile, conversely, Pittsburgh AAVE may merge this same vowel with the LOT vowel, matching the cot-caught merger of white Pittsburgh accents. AAVE accents traditionally do not have the cot-caught merger. Memphis, Atlanta, and Research Triangle AAVE incorporates the DRESS vowel raising and FACE vowel lowering associated with white Southern accents. Memphis and St. Louis AAVE is developing, since the mid-twentieth century, an iconic merger of the vowels in SQUARE and NURSE, making there sound like thurr.
Although the distinction between AAVE and General American accents is clear to most English speakers, some characteristics, notably double negatives and the omission of certain auxiliaries (see below) such as the has in has been are also characteristic of many colloquial dialects of American English, though still more likely in AAVE. There is near-uniformity of AAVE grammar, despite its vast geographic spread across the whole country. This may be due in part to relatively recent migrations of African Americans out of the American South (see Great Migration and Second Great Migration) as well as to long-term racial segregation that kept black people living together in largely homogeneous communities.
Misconceptions about AAVE are, and have long been, common, and have stigmatized its use. One myth is that AAVE is grammatically "simple" or "sloppy". However, like all dialects, AAVE shows consistent internal logic and grammatical complexity, and is used naturally by a group of people to express thoughts and ideas. Prescriptively, attitudes about AAVE are often less positive; since AAVE deviates from the standard, its use is commonly misinterpreted as a sign of ignorance, laziness, or both. Perhaps because of this attitude (as well as similar attitudes among other Americans), most speakers of AAVE are bidialectal, being able to speak with more standard English features, and perhaps even a General American accent, as well as AAVE. Such linguistic adaptation in different environments is called code-switching—though Linnes (1998) argues that the situation is actually one of diglossia: each dialect, or code, is applied in different settings. Generally speaking, the degree of exclusive use of AAVE decreases with increasing socioeconomic status (although AAVE is still used by even well-educated African Americans).
Another myth is that AAVE is the native dialect (or even more inaccurately, a linguistic fad) employed by all African Americans. Wheeler (1999) warns that "AAVE should not be thought of as the language of Black people in America. Many African Americans neither speak it nor know much about it".
Ogbu (1999) argues that the use of AAVE carries racially affirmative political undertones as its use allows African Americans to assert their cultural upbringing. Nevertheless, use of AAVE also carries strong social connotations; Sweetland (2002) presents a white female speaker of AAVE who is accepted as a member into African American social groups despite her race.
Before the substantial research of the 1960s and 1970s—including William Labov's groundbreakingly thorough grammatical study, Language in the Inner City—there was doubt as to the existence of a distinct variety of English spoken by African Americans; Williamson (1970) noted that distinctive features of African American speech were present in the speech of Southerners and Farrison (1970) argued that there were really no substantial vocabulary or grammatical differences between the speech of blacks and that of other English dialects.
The United States courts are divided over how to admit statements of ambiguous tense made in AAVE under evidence. In United States v. Arnold, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that "he finna shoot me" was a statement made in the present tense, so it was admissible hearsay under the excited utterance exception; however, the dissent held that past or present tense could not be determined by the statement, so the statement should not have been admitted into evidence.
In US courts, an interpreter is only routinely available for speakers of "a language other than English". Rickford and King (2016) argue that a lack of familiarity with AAVE (and other minority dialects of English) on the part of jurors, stenographers, and others can lead to misunderstandings in court. They especially focus on the Trayvon Martin case and how the testimony of Rachel Jeantel was perceived as incomprehensible and not credible by the jury due to her dialect.
Spirituals, blues, jazz, R&B, and most recently, hip-hop are all genres associated with African American music; as such, AAVE usually appears, through singing, speaking, or rapping, in these musical forms. Examples of morphosyntactic features of AAVE in genres other than hip-hop are given below:
|Nina Simone||"It Be's That Way Sometime"||"It Be's That Way Sometime"||habitual aspect with be|
|Vera Hall||"Trouble So Hard"||"Don't nobody know my trouble but God"||negative concord|
|Texas Alexander||"The Rising Sun"||"She got something round and it look just like a bat"||lack of inflection on present-tense verb|
|WC Handy||"Saint Louis Blues"||"Cause my baby, he done left this town."||Use of "done" to indicate the recent past|
|LL Cool J||"Control Myself"||"She said her name Shayeeda"||absence of copula|
|LL Cool J||"Control Myself"||"I could tell her mama feed her"||lack of inflection on present-tense verb|
|Kanye West ft. Jay-Z||"Gotta Have It"||"You can bank I ain't got no ceilin'"||negative concord|
|Nick Cannon||"Can I Live"||"It's a lot of angels waiting on their wings"||expletive it|
In addition to grammatical features, lexical items specific to AAVE are often used in hip-hop:
|Artist||Song||Lyric||AAVE lexical itema||Standard English definition|
|Kanye West ft. Jay-Z||"Otis"||"Or the big-face rollie, I got two of those"||rollie||Rolex (watch)|
|Tupac Shakur||"Straight Ballin'"||"And getting ghost on the 5-0"||5-0 ("five-oh")||police|
|Lil Wayne||"Blinded"||"I can put bangles around yo ashy ankles"||ashy||dry skin|
Because hip-hop is so intimately related to the African American oral tradition, non-black hip-hop artists also use certain features of AAVE; for example, in an MC battle, Eyedea said, "What that mean, yo?" displaying lack of subject-verb inversion and also the "auxiliary do". However, they tend to avoid the term nigga, even as a marker of solidarity. White hip-hop artists such as Eyedea can choose to accentuate their whiteness by hyper-articulating postvocalic r sounds (i.e. the retroflex approximant).
AAVE is also used by non-black artists in genres other than hip-hop, if less frequently. For instance, in "Tonight, Tonight", Hot Chelle Rae uses the term dime to mean "an attractive woman". Jewel's "Sometimes It Be That Way" employs habitual be in the title to indicate habitual aspect. If they do not employ similar features of AAVE in their speech, then it can be argued that they are modeling their musical performance to evoke aspects of particular musical genres such as R&B or the blues (as British pop musicians of the 1960s and beyond did to evoke rock, pop, and the blues).
Some research suggests that non-African American young adults learn AAVE vocabulary by listening to hip-hop music.
On Twitter, AAVE is used as a framework from which sentences and words are constructed, in order to accurately express oneself.  Grammatical features and word pronunciations stemming from AAVE are preserved.  Spellings based on AAVE have become increasingly common, to the point where it has become a normalized practice. Some examples include, "you" (you're), "they" (their/they're), "gon/gone" (going to), and "yo" (your). 
Educators traditionally have attempted to eliminate AAVE usage through the public education system, perceiving the dialect as grammatically defective. In 1974, the teacher-led Conference on College Composition and Communication issued a position statement affirming students' rights to their own dialects and the validity of all dialects. Mainstream linguistics has long agreed with this. In 1979, a judge ordered the Ann Arbor School District to find a way to identify AAVE speakers in the schools and to "use that knowledge in teaching such students how to read standard English". In 1996, Oakland Unified School District made a controversial resolution for AAVE, which was later called "Ebonics." The Oakland School board approved Ebonics to be recognized as a language independent from English and that teachers would then participate in recognizing this language. Finally, that it would be used in theory to support the transition from Ebonics to Standard American English in schools. This program lasted three years and then died off. 
Indigenous English, also known as First Nations English, refers to varieties of English used by the Indigenous peoples of Canada. They are outwardly similar to standard Canadian English from the perspective of a non-Canadian. However, they differ enough from mainstream Canadian speech that Indigenous peoples (the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) are often identifiable by their speech to non-Indigenous people. This is primarily the result of the influence of non-English accents derived from Indigenous languages combined with a history of geographical and social isolation, since many Aboriginal people live (or formerly lived) in remote communities, in the North, or on Indian reserves.
Some analyses have concluded that contemporary Indigenous Canadian English may represent the late stages of a decreolization process, among peoples who historically spoke more creolized or pidginized forms of English. Since the 1990s, Indigenous Englishes have also adopted many features of African American Vernacular English under the influence of hip-hop music which is very popular with urban Indigenous youth.
The use of these "non-standard" dialects is not well perceived by the non-Aboriginal majority, evidenced by mockery and discrimination. Some features of the dialects, for example, may have led aboriginal children to be wrongly diagnosed as having a speech impairment or a learning disability. Academics have begun to recommend that Canadian schools accept Indigenous varieties of English as valid English, and as a part of Indigenous culture.Few written works appear in Indigenous English dialects; an exception is Maria Campbell's Stories of the Road Allowance People, a collection of Métis folktales. An example from that work illustrates the type of speech used by Elders in rural Métis communities during her research (thought some stories were collected in Cree or other languages, and translated into dialectical English by Campbell):
Dere wasen very much he can steal from dah table anyways'cept da knives and forks.
An Margareet he knowed he wouldn dare take dem
cause dat woman you know
hees gots a hell of a repetation for being a hardheaded woman
when he gets mad.
Dat man he have to be a damn fool to steal from hees table. - Dah TeefAfrican-American English
African-American English (AAE), also known as Black English in American linguistics, is the set of English dialects primarily spoken by most black people in the United States; most commonly, it refers to a dialect continuum ranging from African-American Vernacular English to a more standard English. African-American English shows variation such as in vernacular versus standard forms, rural versus urban characteristics, features specific to singular cities or regions only, and other sociolinguistic criteria. There has also been a significant body of African-American literature and oral tradition for centuries.
African-American English began as early as the seventeenth century, when the Atlantic slave trade brought African slaves into the majority-white culture of British-colonial North America in an area that became the Southern United States in the late eighteenth century. During the development of plantation culture in this region, nonstandard dialects of English were widely spoken by British settlers, as well as likely some creolized varieties, probably resulting in both first- and second-language English varieties developed by African Americans. The nineteenth century's evolving cotton-plantation industry, and eventually the twentieth century's Great Migration, certainly contributed greatly to the spread of the first of these varieties as stable dialects of English. The most widespread modern dialect is known as African-American Vernacular English.African-American Vernacular English and education
African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) has been the center of controversy about the education of African-American youths, the role AAVE should play in public schools and education, and its place in broader society.African Nova Scotian English
African Nova Scotian English (ANSE and ANSD) is a variety of the English language spoken by descendants of black immigrants from the United States who live in Nova Scotia, Canada. Members of these communities are collectively known as Black Nova Scotians.Though most African-American immigrants to Canada ended up in Ontario through the Underground Railroad, only the dialect of Nova Scotian blacks retains the influence of West African pidgin. In the 19th century, African Nova Scotian English would have been indistinguishable from English spoken in Jamaica or Suriname. However, it has been increasingly de-creolized since this time, due to interaction and influence from the white Nova Scotian population, who mostly hail from the British Isles. Desegregation of the province's school boards in 1964 further accelerated the process of de-creolization.
The language is a relative of the African-American Vernacular English, with significant variations unique to the group's history in the area. There are noted differences in the dialects of those from Guysborough County (Black Loyalists), and those from North Preston (Black Refugees), the Guysborough group having been in the province three generations earlier.Howe & Walker (2000) use data from early recordings of African Nova Scotian English, Samaná English, and the recordings of former slaves to demonstrate that speech patterns were inherited from nonstandard colonial English. The dialect was extensively studied in 1992 by Shana Poplack and Sali Tagliamonte from the University of Ottawa.A commonality between African Nova Scotian English and African American Vernacular English is (r)-deletion. This rate of deletion is 57% among Black Nova Scotians, and 60% among African Americans in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, in the surrounding mostly white communities of Nova Scotia, (r)-deletion does not occur. The exception to this is the non-rhotic dialect of Lunenburg English.Ebonics
Ebonics may refer to:
African American Vernacular English, a distinctive lect, or variety, of English spoken by African Americans, sometimes called Ebonics
Ebonics (word), originally referring to the language of all descendants of enslaved Black Africans, but later coming to mean African American Vernacular English
Oakland Ebonics controversy, generated by the recognition in December 1996 by the Oakland, California, school board of "Ebonics" as a distinct language
Ebonics: The True Language of Black Folks, a 1975 book by social scientist Robert Williams
"Ebonics (Criminal Slang)", a song by rapper Big L from the album The Big PictureJohn Ogbu
John Uzo Ogbu (May 9, 1939 – 20 August 2003) was a Nigerian-American anthropologist and professor known for his theories on observed phenomena involving race and intelligence, especially how race and ethnic differences played out in educational and economic achievement. He suggested that being a "caste-like minority" affects motivation and achievement, depressing IQ scores. He also concluded that some students did poorly because high achievement was considered "acting white" among their peers. Ogbu was also involved in the 1996 controversy surrounding the use of African American Vernacular English in public schools in Oakland, California. The 2000 book Eminent Educators: Studies in Intellectual Influence focused on him as one of "four intellectual giants of the 20th century."Liberian English
Liberian English refers to the varieties of English spoken in Liberia. There are five such varieties:
Standard Liberian English or Liberian Settler English (similar to American English)
Kru Pidgin English
Liberian Kreyol language (Vernacular Liberian English) from African American Vernacular English
Merico language (Americo-Liberian settlers from the United States of America)
Caribbean English (ex-Caribbean slaves settlers from the Caribbean islands)Normally, Liberians use these terms to refer to all such varieties simply as "English". Additionally, the term "Liberian English" is sometimes used for all varieties except the standard.New York Latino English
The English language as primarily spoken by Hispanic Americans on the East Coast of the United States demonstrates considerable influence from New York City English and African American Vernacular English, with certain additional features borrowed from the Spanish language. Though not currently confirmed to be a single stabilized dialect, this variety has received some attention in the academic literature, being recently labelled New York Latino English, referring to its city of nineteenth-century origin, or, more inclusively, East Coast Latino English. In the 1970s scholarship, the variety was more narrowly called (New York City) Puerto Rican English or Nuyorican English. The variety originated with the Puerto Ricans moving to New York City after World War I, though particularly in the subsequent generations born in the New York dialect region who were native speakers of both English and Spanish. Today, it covers the English of many Hispanic Americans of diverse national heritages, not simply Puerto Ricans, in the New York metropolitan area and beyond along the northeastern coast of the United States.
According to linguist William Labov, "A thorough and accurate study of geographic differences in the English of Latinos from the Caribbean and various countries of Central and South America is beyond the scope of the current work", largely because "consistent dialect patterns are still in the process of formation". Importantly, this East Coast Latino ethnolect is a native variety of American English and not a form of Spanglish, broken English, or interlanguage, and other ethnic American English dialects are similarly documented. It is not spoken by all Latinos in this region, and it is not spoken only by Latinos. It is sometimes spoken by people who know little or no Spanish.Nigaz
Nigaz is a joint venture between the Russian gas company Gazprom EP International B.V. (100% affiliate of OAO Gazprom) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Nigaz was established in 2009.
It plans to invest US$2.5 billion to build oil and gas refineries, pipelines and gas power stations in Nigeria. Launching the company, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev announced his intention to form a major energy partnership with Nigeria at a meeting in Abuja with Nigerian president Umaru Yar'Adua.The company's name, a portmanteau of "Nigeria" and "Gazprom", attracted media attention because of its similarity to the potentially offensive word "nigga" and slang derivative "niggaz" in African American Vernacular English.The Economist said the name choice showed "a refreshing ignorance of politically incorrect language".Nigga
Nigga () is a colloquial term used in African-American Vernacular English that began as an eye dialect form of the word "nigger", an ethnic slur against black people. In some dialects of English, the word is pronounced the same as nigger in non-rhotic speech.Nonstandard dialect
A nonstandard dialect or vernacular dialect is a dialect that does not have the institutional support or sanction that a standard dialect has.
Like any dialect, a nonstandard dialect has its own vocabulary and an internally coherent grammar and syntax; and it may be spoken using one or a variety of accents. As American linguist John McWhorter describes about a number of dialects spoken in the American South in earlier U.S. history, including older African American Vernacular English, "the often nonstandard speech of Southern white planters, nonstandard British dialects of indentured servants, and West Indian patois, [...] were nonstandard but not substandard." In other words, describing a dialect as "nonstandard" is not intended to imply that the dialect is incorrect, less logical, or otherwise inferior, just that it is not the socially perceived norm or mainstream for public speech, though it might be ascribed with such stigmatizing qualities as a result of socially-induced post-hoc rationalization. In fact, linguists consider all nonstandard dialects to be grammatically full-fledged varieties of a language. Conversely, even some prestige dialects may be regarded as nonstandard.
As a border-case, a nonstandard dialect may even have its own written form, although it is then to be assumed that the orthography is unstable and/or unsanctioned, and that it is not orderly supported by governmental or educational institutions. When used in quotes and as a contrastive feature in literature, the term eye dialect may be used for nonstandard phonemic spelling.
It is uncommon in written texts unless the text is dialect poetry, etc.Paddy Knob
Paddy Knob is a summit in Virginia and West Virginia, in the United States. With an elevation of 4,478 feet (1,365 m), Paddy Knob is the 29th highest summit in the state of West Virginia, and the 14th highest in Virginia.Paddy Knob derives its name from "paddy", which meant "bear" in African American Vernacular English.Salikoko Mufwene
Salikoko Mufwene is a linguist born in Mbaya-Lareme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is the Frank J. McLoraine Distinguished Service Professor of linguistics at the University of Chicago. He has worked extensively on the development of creole languages, especially Gullah and Jamaican Creole, on the morphosyntax of Bantu languages, especially Kituba, Lingala, and Kiyansi (the last of which he speaks natively), and on African American Vernacular English. He has also published several articles and chapters about language evolution. Mufwene received his Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago in 1979.
Mufwene is the editor of the book series Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact, an interdisciplinary series covering diverse perspectives on languages in contact, pidgins, creoles, language evolution, language change, and bilingualism.Samaná English
Samaná English (SE and SAX) is a variety of the English language spoken by descendants of black immigrants from the United States who have lived in the Samaná Peninsula, now in the Dominican Republic. Members of the enclave are known as the Samaná Americans.
The language is a relative of African Nova Scotian English and African-American Vernacular English, with variations unique to the enclave's history in the area. In the 1950 Dominican Republic census, 0.57% of the population (about 12,200 people) said that their mother tongue was English.Sociolect
In sociolinguistics, a sociolect is a form of language (non-standard dialect, restricted register) or a set of lexical items used by a socioeconomic class, a profession, an age group or other social group.Sociolects involve both passive acquisition of particular communicative practices through association with a local community, as well as active learning and choice among speech or writing forms to demonstrate identification with particular groups. The term sociolect might refer to socially-restricted dialects, but it is sometimes also treated as equivalent with the concept of register, or used as a synonym for jargon and slang.Individuals who study sociolects are called sociolinguists. Sociolinguists study language variation. Sociolinguists define a sociolect by examining the social distribution of specific linguistic terms. For example, a sociolinguist would examine the use of the second person pronoun "you" for its use within the population. If one distinct social group used 'yous' as the plural form of the pronoun then this could indicate the existence of a sociolect. A sociolect is distinct from a regional dialect (regiolect) because social class rather than geographical subdivision substantiates the unique linguistic features.Th-fronting
Th-fronting is the pronunciation of the English "th" as "f" or "v". When th-fronting is applied, /θ/ becomes /f/ (for example, three is pronounced as free) and /ð/ becomes /v/ (for example, bathe is pronounced as bave). Unlike the fronting of /θ/ to /f/, the fronting of /ð/ to /v/ usually does not occur word-initially (for example, while bathe can be pronounced as bave, that is rarely pronounced as *vat) although this was found in the speech of South-East London in a survey completed 1990-4. Th-fronting is a prominent feature of several dialects of English, notably Cockney, Essex dialect, Estuary English, some West Country and Yorkshire dialects, Newfoundland English, African American Vernacular English, and Liberian English, as well as in many non-native English speakers (e.g. Hong Kong English, though the details differ among those accents).William Alexander Stewart
William Alexander Stewart (September 12, 1930 – March 25, 2002) was a linguist specializing in creoles, known particularly for his work on African American Vernacular English.Woke
Woke is a political term of African American origin that refers to a perceived awareness of issues concerning social justice and racial justice. It is derived from the African-American Vernacular English expression "stay woke", whose grammatical aspect refers to a continuing awareness of these issues. Its widespread use since 2014 is a result of the Black Lives Matter movement.Womyn
The word womyn is one of several alternative spellings of the English word women used by some feminists. There are other spellings, including womban (a reference to the womb) or womon (singular), and wimmin (plural). Some writers who use such alternative spellings, avoiding the suffix "-man" or "-men", see them as an expression of female independence and a repudiation of traditions that define women by reference to a male norm. Recently, womxn has been used by feminists to indicate the same ideas, with explicit inclusion of transgender women and women of color, although intersectional feminists have since indicated the term has an exclusionary tone.Historically, "womyn" and other spelling variants were associated with regional dialects (e.g. Scots) and eye dialect (e.g. African American Vernacular English).
African American topics
Civic and economic
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