Talk:African American Vernacular English

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This cluster (AAVE, African American Vernacular English, Ebonics, Black English etc. needs cleaning up.) While the issue is a bit fraught, I'd personally perfer to see "African American Vernacular English" as central, following the Wikipedia article, with the others referring to it. I'm particularly uncomfortable with defining AAVE in terms of Ebonics. I believe that AAVE (and before it, BEV) are perferred by linguists, while Ebonics is a more recent invention popularised by the Oakland, California school board among others. This is not to disparage the Oakland school board, but only to indicate that AAVE is (probably) more NPOV.

I'm also not sure to what extent Ebonics applies outside the US. And we haven't even mentioned, say, Gullah.

Clearly, a bit more research is required, but I believe Wikipedia has done this research and ended up with AAVE primary. -dmh 21:33, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)


The headings are messed up (or innovative) in this article. — 203.222.154.2 02:19, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)


I've redone the definition not to mention Ebonics, which is already listed as a synonym. While use of AAVE is certainly related to economic and educational class, the picture is more complex than just that (Did 50 Cent stop speaking AAVE when he got rich? Would he have been obliged to keep speaking it had he died trying?) Many people, of whatever race, who grew up in or around non-standard environments are bi- (or multi-) dialectal and will speak whichever dialect is appropriate to the situation. My guess is that the original definition was trying to point out that, while almost all AAVE speakers are Black, not all Black people speak AAVE, and particularly, not all Black people speak AAVE exclusively. This is fair enough, and probably worth noting, but I'm not sure exactly how to work it into the definition. The Wikipedia article is probably the better place to cover this, and we do link to it.

On to dialect ... -dmh 16:30, 28 October 2005 (UTC)