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BLACK ENGLISH_ AN ENGLISH DIALECT OR A CREOLE__

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BLACK ENGLISH: AN ENGLISH DIALECT OR A CREOLE??
Important questions to be answered thru research:-how is BE different from white English?-to what extent is popular BE/BE vernacular/non-standard Negro English distinct from non-standard popular English (of white Northerners-Southerners)?
DIFFERENT VIEWS ON WHETHER BE IS AN E DIALECT OR A CREOLE
Most Americans think it’s easy to identify a black person by its voicebut:a test conducted to middle class white Chicagoans: they interpret speech of south college professors, all urban reared, asrural, uneducated Negroes’ speech(McDavid, 1967).Davis, 1970: “there simply were no systematic differences between the speech of Negro and that of Whites’
Any conclusions drawn about the debate whether BE is a creole or just another E dialect?
The range of phonological variation is the samebwnBlack and Whites even though the distribution of speech variants is made by Whites.Still,In Tucker’s & Lambert’s experiment (1969): white judgesCOULDdistinguish White from Negro speakersIf BE is quite unique, do its characteristics derive from popular local accents of English or from an African L??
Views about BE being another E dialect or an African L
Past/older view: African influence was deniedRecent views: thereAREAfrican linguistic survivalsculturally-ratherthan racially-transmitted among American Blacks.Similar linguistic remnants: Scandinavian in Minnesota, Dutch in Hudson Valley,etc…‘Gullah’: an English -based creole, Black L spoken in South Carolina, Sea IslandsAre other BE varieties creoles or English dialects??
Views on BE as creole or English dialects
The linguistic assimilation of Afro-Americans: slow, incomplete; a true creole L spoken by black slaves in the plantations of North America (Steward, 1968)Structural differences in American Negro speech proving its creole originThe most convincing creole argument: syntax (Steward, 1967, 1968;Labov, 1969, 1972): there are important syntactic differencesbwnBE and Standard English attributable to creole influence
BE: rather a creole L than an English dialect but:
Reciprocal influencebwnBlack and White (southern American E) speechVocabulary of General English from BE:‘goober’: peanut, ‘okra’, ‘juke’(box), ‘okay’ (Dalby, 1972)In grunts: ‘uh-huh’ [əˏhə](rising tone: yes),‘Uh-uh’ [ˋʌhə]=[ʔʌʔʔʌ]:no! (BE)
THE MOST STRIKING FEATURES OF BE PHONETICS-PHONOLOGY
NOT ALL BE AMERIACNS TALK ‘LIKE THE MOST IGNORANT TEEN-AGED DELIQUENTS’ (Sledd, 1973)Urban-ghetto dwellers of low socio-economic substratum
The vowel system of BE
1) CURE+FORCE merger=GOAT‘poor’=‘door’ [poə-doə], ‘poor’=‘Poe’ [poʊ], ‘door’=‘dough’ [doʊ]2)FORCE#NORTH ‘hoarse’- ‘horse’ but3)NEAR+SQUARE ‘fear’=‘fair’→[feə]4) /ɪ/+/æ/ before /ŋ/ ‘drink’=‘drank’, ‘ring’, ‘rang’5) /ɪ/+/ɛ/ before [+ nasal C] ‘pin’=‘pen’, ‘Jim’=‘jem’
The phoneticrealisationthe BE vowels
6) PRICE →[a] particularly /- { [+C, +voice], #}‘Price’, ‘pride’→[pras], [prad] but also:7) Before [+C, +voice]+LOT ‘ride’=[rad]=‘find’[fond] or:the V may retain its contrast:‘ride’[rad] vs ‘rod’[rɑd]8)MOUTH, PRICE: monophthongs‘proud’=‘pride’→[prad]/aʊ/+/aɪ/ → [a] ‘dine’, ‘down’, ‘find’, ‘found’:[a]
The phoneticrealisationof BE vowels
In some speakers: a 3-wayneutralisation‘pride’=‘proud’=‘prod’9) [ɜ:]+[ɜɪ] NURSE (as in White NY)10)FOOT : lack of lip roundness [ʊ]11)DRESS: an open [ɛ]
The BE consonants
1)Non-rhoticity →potential homophony‘guard’=‘god’, ‘farther’=‘father’, ‘lord’=‘laud’,‘shore’=‘’sure’=‘show’: [∫oʊ], ‘their’=‘there’=‘they’, ‘you’re’=‘your’=‘you’]‘Paris’=‘pass’, ‘terrace’=‘Tess’2)Absence of /r/→ᴓ /-/ө/ ‘throw’, =‘threw[өoʊ], [өu]
Main features of BE consonants
3)vocalisationor deletion of final /l/ →homophony ‘tool’=‘too’, ‘goal’-’go’, ‘pole=poor=pour=PoeDeletion of /l/→/-[+C] ‘help’=‘hep’[hɛəp]]or/l/ may be retained butrealisedas: [L] (velar lateral) /or[ʊ]4) /ө, ð/:TH-Fronting in medial/final position‘mouth’ [maʊf], ‘tooth’ [tuf], ‘nothing’ [ˈnəfɪn], ‘smooth’ [smuv], ‘brother’ [ˈbrəvə]
Some phoneticrealisationsof BE consonants
‘with’, ‘nothing’→[t] or ᴓ‘withʼem’ [witəm] (voiced t), ‘with me’ [wɪmɪ],‘nothing’ [nətʔṇ]=[nəʔṇ]=[nən]=[naɪn]5)TH-Stopping of non-initial /ө/ (preceded by a nasal or plosive) ‘keep your mouth closed’[maʊt] (Wolfram, 1969)Word initially BEdoeshave a /ө/ ‘thought’ [өɔ(ʊ)t]
Phonetic features of BE consonants
6) stopping of initial /ð/ ‘then’: [dɛn]7)final cluster reduction: no final /t/: ‘list’, ‘mist’, ‘left’, ‘act’no final /p, t, k/: ‘wasp’, ‘’desk’No final /d/ ‘find’, ‘cold’, ‘loved’, ‘named’‘Desk’, ‘list’ may also receive syllabic plural ending proving the underlying non-final plosive:[ ̍lɪsɪz], [̍ ̍dɛsɪz]
Some phoneticrealisationsof BE consonants
8) final /b,d,g/→[ʔ] or [p˥, t˥, k˥]: ( ˥ =inaudibly released plosives) word finally‘rob’, ‘bed’, ‘big’→[rɔʔ], [bɛʔ], [bɪk˥]9) Final plosives/or other voiced Cs→ᴓ so,BE :CV syllable structure, homophones‘road’=‘row’, ‘bid’=‘big’=‘bit’, ‘poke’=‘pope’=poor’, ‘seed’=‘see’=‘seat’10)Morpheme final Cs→ᴓ/ -suffix ‘kids’:[ki:z]11)Initial C cluster ‘street’ [skrit], ‘stream’=‘scream’12)Oddities of lexical incidence: [̍bidnɪs]’business’, [idṇt] ‘isn’t’Stress oddities: [ ̍police],[ ̍defence], [̍̍ ̍Detroit], ‘gonna’→[go], ‘I’mgonna’→ [amo], ‘ I don’t know’→[ ̍aono]

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BLACK ENGLISH_ AN ENGLISH DIALECT OR A CREOLE__