Thursday’s posts look at sociolinguistics or child language acquisition: accents, stereotypes and how children learn to speak.
Linguists have dubbed the dialect of widely used among black people in America “AAVE” (Pronounced, rather delightfully, almost like ah, vie! in French). It stands for African American Vernacular English.
Features such as devoiced fricatives – so that [ðis] (this) becomes [dɪs] dis, and [smu:ð] (smooth) becomes [smuːv] (smoov) -, a use of metathesised forms like aks for ask, and a complicated use of auxiliaries to mark time, tense and aspect (she be working, she done working, she been done working and she done been working, for instance, all have different meanings). Unlike is Standard English, multiple negation isn’t incorrect, so I didn’t do nothing is perfectly correct.
I’m sure most reader will know what I’m referring to.
The question is: it is nature or nurture? Continue reading