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African American Vernacular English, Religion and Ethnicity

  • Nkonko M. Kamwangamalu
Chapter

Abstract

African American Vernacular English (AAVE), which is defined by Geneva Smitherman (1977: 32) as ‘European-American speech with Afro-American meaning, nuance, tone, and gesture’, has been investigated from various perspectives. Some scholars have focused on the status of AAVE, whether it is a(n African) language or a variety of American English (e.g. Baldwin 2002); others have concentrated on its origins, whether AAVE is derived from a prior Creole, as can be inferred from titles such as ‘The Creole Origins of African-American Vernacular English: Evidence from Copula Absence’ (Rickford 1998), or whether the variety evolved internally from what Poplack and Tagliamonte (2001) call ‘Early African American English’, which seemingly diverged from mainstream varieties under conditions of community cohesion and segregation from the dominant white society (Kamwangamalu 2003); and still others have been concerned with the issue whether AAVE is suitable or unsuitable for the schooling of African American children (Ramirez et al. 2005).

Keywords

Ethnic Identity African American Community Black Child Oral Tradition Black Church 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Nkonko M. Kamwangamalu 2010

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  • Nkonko M. Kamwangamalu

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