Talk:African-American Vernacular English

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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 18 August 2021 and 10 December 2021. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Ericalee1217, Juanc101.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 16:57, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lack of sourcing[edit]

In order for it to be implied that "MOST working- and middle-class African Americans and some Black Canadians...." there needs to be relevant and credible sourcing. Given, there was some sourcing on the groups claimed to use it, so of course that is not where my issue lies. The issue is in the implication that a MAJORITY of these groups that use this type of speech. I appreciate whoever changed the word to "some" however, we must do better in the future. Words matter (as this article proves) and we cannot be irresponsible with their use. Booboodafoolery (talk) 21:07, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • There is a credible source for it. I suggest you get the book from the library to see if it's correct or not; if it's incorrect, we'll talk more. Drmies (talk) 21:09, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Firstly, you are reporting in 2018, from a book published in 2004, that likely sourced information dated before that. So an up to date credible source is past due. However, I will be happy look into it. Booboodafoolery (talk) 21:28, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • The first three sentences of the article literally say:

    The variety of English known as AAVE (African-American Vernacular English) is spoken throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada (including Nova Scotia) primarily by African Americans. The variety is spoken most consistently by working-class African Americans, particularly in urban areas. The vast majority of middle class African Americans are bi-dialectal in AAVE and Standard American English (StAmE) and use AAVE in appropriate social contexts through a mechanism scholars have characterized as style-shifting.

    And I'm not buying that dramatic dialect changes have occurred in less than two decades. For a massive collection of studies, this source is still quite recent. Wolfdog (talk) 22:16, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Thank you Wolfdog. That style-shifting, that is absolutely fascinating. I'm still waiting on a student to write a paper on that topic, so I don't have to do the research. ;) Drmies (talk) 22:35, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Copula dropping[edit]

When copula "are" is dropped, it's different from dropping the "be" and is sometimes transformed to an "is," is there some reason for the variability, like the semantics of, and tendency for emphasis of, "is." -Inowen (nlfte) 06:36, 9 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The best way I've heard it described is that the dropping of the copula are/is occurs in AAVE when other varieties of English, including Standard English, would allow contractions. There are cases when this copula is emphasized, which means it's not contracted in Standard English ("he is a clown" vs "he's a clown"). If the emphasized form is is instead of are, there could be some sort of morphological leveling going on. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 16:59, 9 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:African-American gospel which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 23:20, 18 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Working to Middle Class?[edit]

Sounds like the ends have been cut off. I've generally heard/recognized the varieties: gut-bucket, old-negro, maryland farmer, standard ebonics, cutesy wigger, and hamptons, more or less in socioeconomic order. What about the people who don't even work, are they still working class? (talk) 20:22, 1 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

/θr/ in AAVE[edit]

Hi, Aeusoes1, do you mind supplying the exact sentence from the Labov source (I have no access to it) or at least to some online link to it, regarding /θr/ in AAVE. There's something fishily over-general about the way it's currently worded on the page. I've only experienced this loss of /r/ when following /θ/. I'll look elsewhere to confirm this and add anything I find. Wolfdog (talk) 18:43, 7 June 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, the quote is (p. 14): "Another aspect of the r-less pattern is the deletion of postcontonantal /r/ before back rounded vowels. Thus /r/ is deleted particularly in throw, through, threw, throat, and occasionally after other consonants."
I have no problem updating this with a more recent source. I just don't want to mischaracterize what a source is saying. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 19:57, 7 June 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Social context in intro[edit]

This article has a fairly well-developed section on the social context and perception of AAVE, but that's missing from the intro. Could someone who has more linguistics expertise than I do add a bit? - Sdkb (talk) 04:16, 6 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"there was doubt as to the existence of a distinct variety of English spoken by African Americans;^[clarification needed]"[edit]

I'm not sure how to concisely edit the article to clarify, but those who held that view (mainly before the late 1960s) thought that, with the exception of certain small groups such as the Gullah (whose English they considered to be more Caribbean than American), there were very few features of the way that American blacks spoke which couldn't also be found in the speech of some group of rural poor whites in some part of the South... AnonMoos (talk) 14:45, 9 December 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edit Proposals[edit]

Hello! This is a great article! I would like to consider adding to this article, particularly the "In Education" section, as there has been a lot of history and controversy about the use of AAVE in schools that I believe should be delved into a bit more. In addition, I would like to include information about the linguistic discrimination against AAVE in the United States. Check out my user page for more information and some of the sources I plan to use! Thanks! Akandru (talk) 03:40, 11 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You might want to first focus on incorporating the information from those sources at African-American Vernacular English and education. The relevant section in this article is sort of a summary of that article. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 03:01, 12 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

/ˈɑːveɪ, æv/[edit]

These pronunciations are new to me. I've only ever heard AAVE pronounced as an initialism, both in linguistic circles and outside of the classroom. The source cited seems credible, though it is noteworthy that they qualify it as pronunciations made by sociolinguists, not the general public. What have other people heard, either from linguists or in general? — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 18:23, 20 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've heard both. IIRC I had only heard /æv/, somewhat jocularly or jargon-y (aside from the four-syllable pronunciation of course), and then I heard Daniel Midgley on the Talk the Talk podcast (now Because Language) say /ˈɑːveɪ/, which prompted me to look into sources and add the notation. Here's another source. Nardog (talk) 21:44, 20 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Capitalization of Black/black[edit]

Hi @Generalrelative: I don't understand your recent edits regarding the capitalization of "Black/black". The recent consensus on the matter(this RfC and some more recent discussion), was generally against the need for the capitalization, but that it could be used on US-centric articles as long as there is consistency in the style: not writing both "white" and "Black". "White" is not capitalized in this article, but you seem to be reverting edits uncapitalizing "Black" citing the need for the very consistency that the capitalization is currently interfering with. Unless I'm missing something, you seem to be quoting an RfC/discussion to edit in opposition to that RfC/discussion, which doesn't make much sense to me. Volteer1 (talk) 18:03, 19 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Volteer1, thanks for the thoughtful engagement. I actually hadn't noticed that about "white" in this article and was simply applying MOS:VAR: "When either of two styles are acceptable it is inappropriate for a Wikipedia editor to change from one style to another unless there is some substantial reason for the change." It is true that the recent discussion at Talk:MOS has clarified that either both Black and White are capitalized or neither are (and of course that both styles are acceptable per the RfC). So it seems that we should change either "white" to "White" here or "Black" to "black". I thank you for spotting this discrepancy.
The question then becomes: by what criteria should we decide which style to preserve? It seems to me that the clearest criterion for determining which style is more established in the article is number of instances. I count 13 times that "white" appears, versus 21 for "Black" (leaving aside Notes and References). According to that criterion, it's actually "white" which is interfering with the consistency of "Black" rather than the other way around. If you know of a specific guideline that can offer more clarity on this, I'm all ears. Generalrelative (talk) 19:27, 19 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ahh, I see. To be clear I don't really have much of a horse in this race – the capitalization looks strange to me, but I'm not American and it's obviously not really up to me. I think you're right that the solution here is to just capitalize "white" in this article, it does seems that that's the established style here to whatever degree there is an established style. In general I don't know if there's any way of deciding what variant is preferred, I guess it's just analogous to MOS:ENGVAR when there is no strong national ties, where you just retain whatever style was originally being used. Volteer1 (talk) 10:09, 20 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is my understanding as well. Thanks for making the edit. Generalrelative (talk) 15:31, 20 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposed merge of Shawty (slang) into this article[edit]

Too short to qualify as actual encyclopedic entry Finder of EggsHow's My Editing? 14:40, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, I don't think it would make sense as a redirect. If the article is too short and you don't anticipate it getting larger, nominate it for deletion. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 04:57, 8 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think this article should include every example of every AAVE slang word out there, I wouldn't support merging it. ‑‑Volteer1 (talk) 07:20, 8 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm removing the merge tag, it doesn't look like there's consensus here. Elli (talk | contribs) 15:57, 2 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

why is it "...vernacular english" and not "...english vernacular?"[edit]

I had to ask myself: would we actually say or write similar terms such as "dialect english" or "vocabulary english?" AFAIK, they'd be written or spoken as "english dialect" or "english vocabulary."

Even if those "analogies" don't fit as examples, and both are acceptable, why on earth would one have been picked over the other? I'm trying to bat my brain here. Before AAVE became the new label for "urban accents" and "ebonics" (what we used to call it 10-20 years ago in my city), surely SOMEONE in the community must've looked at the acronym and thought, "hold up, this isn't quite correct; should be AAEV."

The point of it is that it refers to the vernacular of African-American english, not that it's the english language of African-American vernacular. (talk) 14:40, 1 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Presumably to emphasize that AAVE is a valid form of English, not just a vernacular. BilCat (talk) 17:47, 1 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wiki Education assignment: LNGN 460[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 16 May 2022 and 20 June 2022. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Lawrencel1montclairedu, Caro A Torres V, Raquelkulesa.

— Assignment last updated by Jah238 (talk) 01:12, 11 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Update notice and citation style[edit]

A notice on this page criticizes the heavy use of Green (2002) as the use of "a single 20-year-old source". It happens that Green (2002) is perfectly thorough, and that the field of linguistics does not move so fast that it should be thought to be outdated.

However, it was confusing to me finding out how much precisely the article depended on Green (2002). So, I have changed all references to Green (2002) to named references, with an "rp" page number. I hope this is acceptable by the Wikipedia etiquette, I don't actually know for sure. I will see what can be done about the claims that rely on Fickett (1972), but that notice is seriously exaggerating the outdatedness of Green (2002). Thiagovscoelho (talk) 09:52, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Regarding the Wikipedia etiquette, I just checked WP:CITEVAR. While it does say that I should not "attempt to change an article's established citation style", this article's citation style was inconsistent when I found it – there were some named references and some inline references –, and it also says that nowadays, "inline parenthetical referencing is a deprecated citation style on English-language Wikipedia". So I am probably not changing anything "established" at all, although I am changing something.

Besides, I had reasons for the change, namely the notice about over-reliance on Green (2002). If I change the rest of the inline parenthetical citations, it also seems that many works in the reference section will be found which are not referred to by any claims in the article, and which should probably be moved to a "Further reading" section. Thiagovscoelho (talk) 10:57, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry, but this was ill-conceived. The deprecated "inline parenthetical referencing" refers to use of it in the body itself instead of superscript footnotes. {{sfnp}} is widely used in articles about scholarly topics where different parts of the same references are cited many times, while {{rp}} enjoys much less support from the community. It's the full citations in the Notes section that need to be moved to References, not the other way round.
Also, the update notice is just an opinion of one user, who didn't follow it up on the talk page. If you think the references are fine (which I'm inclined to think too, morphosyntax tend not to change drastically in just a few decades), I suggest you simply remove the notice. Nardog (talk) 17:27, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, in retrospect I regret having tried to do this. I will remove the notice as you suggest, especially since the edition of "African-American English", edited by Mufwene, Rickford, Bailey & Baugh, that came out just this year (2022) has had no such datedness qualms about citing the 1972 and 1970 works by Labov and Fickett.Thiagovscoelho (talk) 06:43, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion on use of pejorative alternative language names[edit]

Dear editors of this page, over on a different talk page I am engaging in a discussion with user LeenchaOromia over the need to include in the lead section a certain alternative name of the Oromo language that has been used in the academic literature until the mid 20th century, but which is now seen as extremely pejorative by the Oromo people. He convinced me that the Wiki policy that I am trying to enforce there is not being followed here, and apparently the use of the alternative name hasn't even been discussed for this article here. So I'm wondering if people here care to throw in their ideas about what would happen if the name "Negro dialect", which had been used in the literature until about 1970, were to be mentioned as an alternative name in the lead. We both agree about the use in the academic literature, and we both agree about its perceived offensiveness in today's context. I'd argue that for encyclopedic reasons it would be necessary to include it here in the lead, and Leencha would argue that we should leave the pejorative name out in both places. What do you think? You can either join the discussion on the Oromo language talk page, or give your ideas here - I'll start watching this page for a while. Warm greetings, LandLing 11:44, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also reference the discussion on the WP:Manual_of_Style/Lead_section talk page at the very bottom titled "Usage of a Pejorative as Alternative Name in Lead" LeenchaOromia (talk) 14:58, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wiki Education assignment: Writ 2 - Academic Writing[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article is currently the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 9 January 2023 and 31 March 2023. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Rchante.

— Assignment last updated by Roach Jefferson (talk) 23:58, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]