Web Sites on African American English


Like all linguists, I affirm that AAVE is a fully-formed gramamtical system. But as the Oakland controversy shows, developing an educational policy for AAVE speakers is very complex.


UGA African American Vernacular English Page - Overview of what AAVE is and how it may have developed.

Peter J. Patrick African American English - Includes a bibliography and links.

AAVE Phonology (Morphology) Exercise - Only the past participle  "ing" goes to /in/. Other engmas intact. Part of U Arizona Language Sample Project

Phonological Features of AAVE - Technical report, primarily based on Memphis subjects. From Memphis Child Phonology Laboratory

Syntactic Variation and Competence - AAVE Copula Deletion - Online dissertation from Emily Bender

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Oakland Proposal

In 1997, Oakland proposed that Ebonics (AAVE) be treated as a distinct language and the school district could fund and implement bilingual education programs for the large AAVE population resideing in the city.

John R. Rickford, Writings on the Ebonics issue - Articles from John and Angela Rickford favoring Oakland resolution.

CAL Ebonics Page - Center for Applied Linguistics page on Ebonics

LSA Reolution on "Ebonics" - LSA affirms that AAVE is a real linguistic system, but does not resolve 'dialect/language' issue.

Junk Science and the Ebonics Resolution - Crticizes both the right and the left for misinterpreting the issues. From a practicing linguist.

Embracing Ebonics and Teaching Standard English - Article explaning how teaching to 5th grade AAVE speakers works in Oakland. From 1997.

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Commentary from Non Linguists

These pages do NOT necessarily reflect my opnions, but show how different people have reacted to the issue.

Ebonics - Black English or Boondogle? - In-depth story from Psychiatric Times. Provocative Statement: "You can’t write a decent composition with Ebonics.” I'm not sure this is fair - has anyone tried?

Fear of a Black Language - An African American writes on why he thinks Americans "fear" AAVE. You can decide if he's correct or not.

CNN Black English Proposal Draws Fire - Includes negative reactions from some African American artists and politicians.

Da Ebonics Page - A humorous take. NOT the real thing, but apparently by an African American, or a least someone who views the language fondly.

Four Truths About the Ebonics Debate - A journalist examines the Oakland controvery and gives his perspective.

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©2004 Dr. Elizabeth J. Pyatt. All Rights Reserved.