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African. American Vernacular English: Phonology, Syntax, Speech Acts by: Alessia Biasibetti, Fang Lan, Aldo African. American Vernacular English: Phonology, Syntax, Speech Acts by: Alessia Biasibetti, Fang Lan, Aldo Ostwald

Contents: 1. General Remarks 2. Phonology 3. Syntax 4. Speech Acts Contents: 1. General Remarks 2. Phonology 3. Syntax 4. Speech Acts

What is AAVE? - Variety of GA, spoken by African-Americans - Origin: unclear - What is AAVE? - Variety of GA, spoken by African-Americans - Origin: unclear - Creole theory - Dialect theory - Range of intensity - No regional variety, but often found in urban areas - Political implications: Oakland Debate 1997

What is AAVE? http: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Image: Census-2000 -Data-Top-US-Ancestries-by-County. jpg What is AAVE? http: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Image: Census-2000 -Data-Top-US-Ancestries-by-County. jpg

What is AAVE? - Variety of GA, spoken by African-Americans - Origin: unclear - What is AAVE? - Variety of GA, spoken by African-Americans - Origin: unclear - Creole theory - Dialect theory - Range of intensity - No regional variety, but often found in urban areas - Political implications: Oakland Debate 1997

Phonology The Phonology The "Rainbow Passage": When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act as a prism and form a rainbow. The rainbow is a division of white light into many beautiful colors. These take the shape of a long round arch with its path high above and its two ends apparently beyond the horizon. There is, according to legend, a boiling pot of gold at one end. People look, but no one ever finds it. When a man looks for something beyond his reach, his friends say: he is looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Text and sound file from: http: //www. ku. edu/~idea/

Consonant Features Reduction of word-final consonant clusters ‘hand’ 'desk' 'gold' 'and' : /h@nd/ : Consonant Features Reduction of word-final consonant clusters ‘hand’ 'desk' 'gold' 'and' : /[email protected]/ : /desk/ : /gould/ : /@nd/ → /[email protected]/ → /des/ → /goul/ → /@n/

Consonant Features Reduction of word-final consonant clusters 'man' 'cat' 'bad' : /m@n/ : /k@t/ Consonant Features Reduction of word-final consonant clusters 'man' 'cat' 'bad' : /[email protected]/ : /[email protected]/ : /[email protected]/ → → → /[email protected]/ /[email protected]/ /[email protected]/ Reduction of / r/ to / / 'throwdown' : /' roudaun/ → /' oudaun/

Consonant Features Devoicing of word-final stops after vowels: 'bad ': /b d/ → /b Consonant Features Devoicing of word-final stops after vowels: 'bad ': /b d/ → /b t/ Reduction of / / to /n/ in gerunds and participles: 'walking': /'w ki / → /'w kin/

Consonant Features Substitution of /f/ or /t/ for / /: 'thin': 'bath': / In/ Consonant Features Substitution of /f/ or /t/ for / /: 'thin': 'bath': / In/ /b / → /t. In/ → /b f/ Substitution of /v/ or /d/ for / /: 'then' 'brother' / en/ → / br r/ → /den/ / br v /* *also /r/ - deletion

Consonant Features Deletion of /r/ after vowels: 'sister' 'four' 'whore' / sist r/ → Consonant Features Deletion of /r/ after vowels: 'sister' 'four' 'whore' / sist r/ → /f r/ → / sist / /f /, /fou/ /h /, /hou/ Metathesis of adjacent consonants: 'ask' 'wasp' / sk/ /w sp/ → → / ks/ /w ps/

Vowel Features Diphthongs are realized as monophthongs: 'I' 'boy' /a / /bo / → Vowel Features Diphthongs are realized as monophthongs: 'I' 'boy' /a / /bo / → → /a / /bo / Merging of / / and / / before nasals: 'pin' /p n/ 'pen' /pen/ /p n/ → → "

Vowel Features Realization of / / as / /: 'thing' 'think' / / / Vowel Features Realization of / / as / /: 'thing' 'think' / / / k/ → → / / Stress shift: 'police' / / → / o / 'hotel' / / → / /

Syntax in AAVE Alessia Biasibetti Hauptstudium TN Syntax in AAVE Alessia Biasibetti Hauptstudium TN

Outline 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Verbs Negation Referential it and dey Summary Exercises Outline 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Verbs Negation Referential it and dey Summary Exercises

1. Verbs a) Auxiliaries: they are often left out in statements: ‘They Ø walking 1. Verbs a) Auxiliaries: they are often left out in statements: ‘They Ø walking too fast’ ‘He Ø be there in a minute’ ‘Sometimes he Ø be already sleeping’ …and in questions: ‘Ø Bob there? ’ ‘Ø Bob left? ’ ‘Ø You married? ’ [are] [will] [would] [is] [has] [are]

1. Verbs b) Neutralization of singular and plural persons: ‘You don’t love me’; ‘She 1. Verbs b) Neutralization of singular and plural persons: ‘You don’t love me’; ‘She don’t love me’ ‘They haven’t run’; ‘Tom haven’t run’ ‘She was eating’; ‘You was eating’ → the letter ‘s’ is usually added to the verb to indicate that the action happens habitually: ‘Every morning I sits and rides’ ‘The devil haves us in a state of sin’ ‘That’s the way it bes’

1. Verbs c) Aspectual Markers or Verbal Markers: ‘Be’ [=habitual or repeated action] * 1. Verbs c) Aspectual Markers or Verbal Markers: ‘Be’ [=habitual or repeated action] * always in its inflected form! 1. ‘Bruce be running’ [=Bruce is usually running] (‘Bruce Ø running’ =Bruce is running now/these days) 2. ‘I be in my office by 7: 30’ [=I’m usually in my office by 7: 30] 3. ‘The boys’ socks be that dirty’ always that dirty’] [=The boys’ socks are

1. Verbs ‘BIN’ [=the activity/state was held for a long time] * Always stressed 1. Verbs ‘BIN’ [=the activity/state was held for a long time] * Always stressed (not like been, which is unstressed) 1. ‘She BIN running’ [=she has been running for a long time] (unlike ‘She been running’ =she has been running) 2. ’The police ain’t going bad. They BIN bad’ [=the police aren’t going bad. They have been bad for a long time]

1. Verbs ‘Dən’ [=the event has already ended] * Always unstressed, unlike done, which 1. Verbs ‘Dən’ [=the event has already ended] * Always unstressed, unlike done, which is stressed. 1. ‘I dən done all you told me to do’ [=I have done all you told me to do] 2. ’I dən already finished that’ [=I have already finished that]

1. Verbs • • ‘Finna’ [=the event will happen in the immediate future] Other 1. Verbs • • ‘Finna’ [=the event will happen in the immediate future] Other variants: fixina, fixna, fitna Always followed by a non-finite verb (no tense/agreement marking) 1. ’They finna do something’ [=they’re about to do something] 2. ’She was finna move the mattress herself when I got there’ [=she was getting ready to move the mattress when I got there]

1. Verbs • ‘Steady’ [=the activity is carried out in an intense or consistent 1. Verbs • ‘Steady’ [=the activity is carried out in an intense or consistent manner] Always followed by progressive verb form (-ing form) ‘They want to do they own thing, and you steady talking to them’ [=they want to do their own thing, and you’re continuing to talk to them]

1. Verbs ‘Come’ [=expresses the indignation or anger of the speaker] Always followed by 1. Verbs ‘Come’ [=expresses the indignation or anger of the speaker] Always followed by progressive verb form 1. ‘Don’t come acting like you don’t know what happened’ [=don’t try to act as if you don’t know what happened] 2. ’You the one come telling me it’s hot. I can’t believe you got your coat on’ [=you’re the one who had the nerve to tell me that it’s hot. I can’t believe you’ve got your coat on]

2. Negation Multiple Negation = negation is marked more than once on auxiliaries and 2. Negation Multiple Negation = negation is marked more than once on auxiliaries and indefinite nouns (anybody/nobody and anything/nothing) 1. ’I didn’t see nothing’ [=I didn’t see anything] 2. ’Bruce don’t want no teacher telling him nothing about no books’ [=Bruce doesn’t want any teacher telling him anything about any book] 3. ‘I ain’t never seen nobody preach under announcement’ [=I’ve never seen anyone preach while they’re giving announcements]

3. Referential ‘it’ and ‘dey’ 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. ‘it’ and ‘dey’ 3. Referential ‘it’ and ‘dey’ 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. ‘it’ and ‘dey’ are used to indicate that something exist The following six sentences can be used to mean ‘There is some coffee in the kitchen’: ‘It’s some coffee in the kitchen’ ‘It got some coffee in the kitchen’ ‘It have some coffee in the kitchen’ ‘Dey got some coffee in the kitchen’ ‘Dey have some coffee in the kitchen’

4. Summary In which way the syntactic patterns in AAVE differ from those of 4. Summary In which way the syntactic patterns in AAVE differ from those of General American English? a) in the person/number agreement b) in the use of aspectual markers such as be, BIN, finna, etc. which give an additional meaning to the sentence c) in the multiple negation d) in the use of ‘it’ and ‘dey’ instead of ‘there is/are’

5. Exercises 1. ’It be too many cars in that parking lot’ -There always 5. Exercises 1. ’It be too many cars in that parking lot’ -There always too many cars in the parking lot. 2. ‘It don’t be nobody on that corner’ - Usually there is nobody on that corner. 3. ‘They be finna go to bed when I call there’ - They are usually about to go to bed when I call there. 4. ‘Them students be steady trying to make a buck’ - Those students are always working diligently to make money.

Speech Events and Rules of Interaction in AAVE Overview of speech events 1. Signifying Speech Events and Rules of Interaction in AAVE Overview of speech events 1. Signifying -“the verbal art of insult in which a speaker humorouslz puts down, talks about, needles-that is, signifies on-the listener“ 2. Playing the dozens -“The dozens is a mean game because what you try to do is totally destroy somebody else with words. . . “ -it consists of set responses in versified form, ususally ? coupiets. Some refer to varous sexual acts committed with “you momma“.

3. Rapping -casual talk --which include exchange between a male and female, in which 3. Rapping -casual talk --which include exchange between a male and female, in which the male tries to win the favors of a female by using verbal expertise --in which someone provides another with information -highly stylized 4. Marking -the speaker imitates the words and perhaps the actions of a person and makes some comment about him or her. 5. Loud-talking -occurs when a speaker delivers a line that was intended for someone else loud enough for people outside to the conversation to hear

6. Woofing -A strategy in which boasting is used to intimidate an opponent, thus 6. Woofing -A strategy in which boasting is used to intimidate an opponent, thus avoiding violent confrontation. 7. Toasts -Tributes, usually poetic, to the grandeur of some character. -they are narrated in first person and feature a hero who is “fearless, defiant, openly rebellious and full of braggadocio about his masculinity, sexuality, fighting ability, and general badness” -women also deliver toasts about their extraordinary power e. g. “ I can read your thoughts right now, everyone from A to Z” Chaka Kahn “I’m Every Woman” “I’m a Woman. ” musical “Black and Blue”

Verbal Strategies v From dozens to snaps -history goes back to African communities and Verbal Strategies v From dozens to snaps -history goes back to African communities and slavery -linked to African cultures on the basis that it is the most plausible view -participants play the game with person they know or who are in their circle of acquaintances -exaggerated statements that do not, in reality, characterize the opponent's family members and family life -today as popular as it was years ago -girls also play the dozens and signify -Snaps and Double Snaps by Percelay et al.

Some examples v v v v Your mother is so stupid, she thought a Some examples v v v v Your mother is so stupid, she thought a lawsuit was something you wear to ? Your mother’s ears are so dirty, I can pull out enough wax to make candles. I went to your house, stepped on a cigarette, and your mother screamed, “ Who turned off the heat? ” Your mother is so old, she took her driving test on a dinosaur. snaps from the Percelay et al. Shirley: Get a job! (Looks at man on telephone in disgust) Male: A job? Won’t you learn how to cook! Shirley: Yo mama! comedy “What’s happening? ”

v Loud-talking - “a loud-talker breaches norms of discretion, his strategy is to use v Loud-talking - “a loud-talker breaches norms of discretion, his strategy is to use the factor of audience to achieve some desired effect on the addressee. ” - Involves a louder than normal( or necessary) pitch on the part of the addresser and often an expression of embarrassment by the addressee, it is easy to observe.

Speaker B kept asking A where they should have dinner that night, but Adidn’t Speaker B kept asking A where they should have dinner that night, but Adidn’t have any suggestions. After some time had elapsed, A and B had the following conversation: v v A: I figured it out. Let’s go to that place where I had that good veggie burger. B: Oh yeah, American Café! That’s a great idea. A, B and others get ready to go to dinner. v A: (A walks over to B and delivers the line quietly wih disvreion and with hands on her hips. ) I know I have great ideas, but it takes time for me to come up with them, so don’t rush me. v B: (B looks at A and delivers the line so that the other four people in the room can hear him. ) Now see, see what I have to go through! A retreats to the door, out of sight, and wait for the others. v She running to the door. She shame now. Don’t told me off, now she wanna go in the dark. v Everyone laughs.

Expressions in nonverbal communication: eye movement and giving dap v Eye Movement 1. Cut-eye: Expressions in nonverbal communication: eye movement and giving dap v Eye Movement 1. Cut-eye: -a derogatory eye gesture that is intended to convey feelings of “ hostility, displeasure, disapproval, or a general rejection of the person at whom it is directed. ” -4 stages --a look or short stare at the target --followed by a gaze over the target --then a sharp look or ‘cut’ of the eyes by closing the eyelids and opening them --turning the head away from the target in disgust or disapproval

2. Rolling eyes -a person who is believe to think that she is superior 2. Rolling eyes -a person who is believe to think that she is superior to others or who displays an attitude that may not be accepted by a particular group may the target. -also a person may roll her eyes in response to a statement that doesn’t make any sense or that is inaccurate

Other forms of nonverbal communication Handshakes -may change as often as the types of Other forms of nonverbal communication Handshakes -may change as often as the types of lexical and slang items -most commonly used as forms of, or in conjunction with, greetings and salutations Giving a dap -used to express agreement about some issue in the conversation or to show soldering. Pound -a process in which the person (often male) getly pounds the top of the receiver’s vertical? . Chest-touching -symbolizes the type of meaning associated with the high? , is often the response to a score or tight (very nice) play. -seems to have crossed racial/ethnic boundaries, as it is used more and more by athletes in general

Sources - Green, Lisa J 2002: African American English: A linguistic Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge Sources - Green, Lisa J 2002: African American English: A linguistic Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge UP - Mufwene, Salikoko; Rickford John R. ; Bailey, Guy; ed. Baugh, John 1998: African American English: Structure, History and Use. London: Routledge - Fillmore, Charles J. : ‘A Linguist Looks at the Ebonics Debate’ 1997 (13 January 2005)

That's all, folks! Thank you for your attention! That's all, folks! Thank you for your attention!