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Slang of African American Essay

Updated April 22, 2022
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Slang of African American Essay essay

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Introduction

African American Vernacular English (AAVE) is a dialect of English, also referred to as Black English, Ebonics, or African American English. AAVE has historically been ridiculed by the majority population of Standard or Mainstream American English (SAE) speakers and dismissed as slang. However, AAVE has its own grammatical structure and rules for speech, and is simply another way of communication. Linguistic features: Some trademarks of AAVE which separate it from SAE include the substitution /a/ for vocalic –er, omission of /g/ from –ing, and the substitution of /f/f sounds for /th/ sounds. Phonological features can include morphosyntactic patterns such as “’bouta”. Morphosyntactic patterns are commonly found in other parts of the world, however, their usage is largely unheard of in the United States.

Generally speaking, morphosyntactic features are similar to contractions in SAE. Wherever AAVE is “missing” words, SAE speakers utilize contractions. Another difference between the two dialects is the use of multiple negatives in AAVE. In AAVE, multiple negatives enforce the meaning of the sentence. Double negatives are strongly discouraged in SE, but they are found in multiple languages including Chinese, Arabic, and Shakespearean English. The habitual “be” is also a hallmark of AAVE. White people and non-AAVE speakers assume that a sentence such as “he be working” is the same as “he is working”, but this is actually not the case. This tense refers to a person who is in the habit of working, or works sometimes but perhaps not right now. Another example of the habitual “be” is “the coffee be hot”. The coffee is not necessarily hot at the moment in which this sentence is spoken, but rather the speaker is alluding to coffee generally being hot. The Habitual “be” is often mistaken as a simple error when in fact it is simply another tool of expression, one which does not exist in SAE. It is important to keep in mind that everyone’s speech is as rich and complicated as ones’ own, and that the people who are said to speak “correctly” are generally those who have privilege and power. Those who speak differently are not inherently incorrect. Slang vs dialects: Slang is the usage of newly-coined, informal vocabulary that rapidly changes on a daily basis.

The usage of these words can mark group membership due to their creation by individuals who identify with a certain social group. For example, children at a certain school or of a certain age may create and use slang words. Some other examples of such certain socially definable groups who use a subcategory of slang (jargon) include waitresses, jazz musicians, police officers, etc. Thus, the use of slang reflects an individual’s membership in a certain social group as well as their attitudes. Negative attitudes towards AAVE’s legitimacy: Unfortunately, the prejudiced attitude surrounding AAVE is also present in some speech-language pathologists, who refer to the dialect as improper speech, slang, or “unintelligent speech”. Dialects do not equate disorders. Some pathologists treat all speech which is not standard English (SAE) as deficient, seeking to erase dialects altogether from their patients. Ideally, speech pathologists would not have to correct AAVE at all, and those who spoke this dialect would be respected. However, American society is far from ideal in its treatment of Black individuals. Codeswitching and its unfortunate necessity: Prejudice against the language African Americans speak is a major part of the systemic and institutional racism that so many deny today—one of the factors that dooms Black children from their earliest years of schooling. Employers, teachers, and professors will undoubtedly make assumptions about AAVE speaking children’s intelligence and ability to function.

Parents and Speech Pathologists must ask themselves if a child’s inability to speak SAE will hinder their chances in life. In addition, standardized tests needed for college are all undoubtedly easier for children who are easily able to utilize SAE. Children need honest instruction, not only in Standard English, but in the reasons behind their need to learn it. The dual grasp of AAVE and SAE can prepare children for life. Encouraging codeswitching as an SLP- when is it appropriate? If a parent of an AAVE-speaking child or an AAVE-speaking individual came to an SLP, requesting help with their grasp of SAE (such as someone coming to a pathologist for accent reduction), one would go the route of helping the child code-switch and clarifying when SAE or AAVE should be spoken. Clinicians should not seek to eradicate AAVE from their speech, and should never attempt to teach codeswitching unless it is requested by a guardian. In school systems, however, encouraging codeswitching and the development of SAE can be beneficial, due to the discriminatory attitudes some have towards AAVE. This can be accomplished by facilitating a contrastive analysis of the two dialects with the child, and by explaining codeswitching. Distinguishing between differences and disorders in AAVE speakers: A communication disorder is a reduced ability in an individual to understand or use verbal communication. This can include impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts as a result of a deficit in hearing, language, and/or speech. If a person is bidialectal or bilingual, the disorder will be apparent in both forms of speech.

A communication difference, however, is a variation of speech shared by those within a particular place or culture. Accents and dialects are differences, not disorders. After learning the patterns of AAVE, it is fairly easy to determine what constitutes normal speech. It becomes more difficult, however, when the child is shown to have a speech disorder. It is vital that pathologists are able to distinguish which aspects of speech must be targeted for treatment and which are influenced by a client’s dialect. Evaluation plans and options: There are a number of alternative assessment procedures one can follow to distinguish a disorder from a difference in an AAVE speaker. Clinicians should use a combination of these solutions tailored to each client to receive the best results. Pathologists can use a combination of contrastive analysis, reworded or altered standardized tests, or tests made for non- SAE speakers, such as DELV. The resultant score of DELV will indicate not only if the child is a likely AAE speaker, but also if the child is at risk for a language disorder.

Slang of African American Essay essay

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Slang of African American Essay. (2022, Apr 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/slang-of-african-american-essay/

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