African-American English : Structure, History, and Use book cover
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African-American English
Structure, History, and Use




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ISBN 9780367760687
August 9, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
332 Pages

 
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Book Description

This book was the first to provide a comprehensive survey of linguistic research into African-American English and is widely recognised as a classic in the field. It covers both the main linguistic features, in particular the grammar, phonology and lexicon and the sociological, political and educational issues connected with African-American English.

The editors have played key roles in the development of African American English and Black Linguistics as an academic field of study and along with other leading figures, notably Geneva Smitherman, Bill Labov and Walt Wolfram, they provide an authoritative, diverse guide to this vitally important subject area. Drawing on key moments of cultural significance from the Ebonics controversy to the rap of Ice-T, the contributors cover the state of the art in scholarship on African-American English, and actively dispel misconceptions, address new questions and explore new approaches. This classic edition has a new foreword by Sonja Lanehart, setting the book in context and celebrating its influence.

This is an essential text for courses on African-American English, key reading for Varieties of English and World Englishes modules and an important reference for students of linguistics, black studies and anthropology at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables

List of contributors

Foreword

SONJA LANEHART

Acknowledgements

Introduction

SALIKOKO S. MUFWENE AND JOHN R. RICKFORD

PART I

Structure

1 The sentence in African-American vernacular English

STEFAN MAR TIN AND WALT WOLFRAM

2 Aspect and predicate phrases in African-American vernacular English

LISA GREEN

3 The structure of the noun phrase in African-American vernacular English

SALIKOKO S. MUFWENE

 

PART II

History

4 Some aspects of African-American vernacular English phonology

GUY BAILEY AND ERIK THOMAS

5 Co-existent systems in African-American vernacular English

WILLIAM LABOV

6 The creole origins of African-American vernacular English: evidence from copula absence

JOHN R. RICKFORD

 

PART III

Use

7 Word from the hood: the lexicon of African-American vernacular English

GENEVA SMITHERMAN

8 African-American language use: Ideology and so-called obscenity

ARTHUR K. SPEARS

9 More than a mood or an attitude: Discourse and verbal genres in African-American culture

MARCYLIENA MORGAN

10 Linguistics, education, and the law: Educational reform for African-American language minority students

JOHN BAUGH

 

Subject index

Name index

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Editor(s)

Biography

Salikoko S. Mufwene is the Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics and the College at the University of Chicago. He is the founding editor of Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact.

John R. Rickford is the J.E. Wallace Sterling Professor of Linguistics, Emeritus, at Stanford University. He is Past President of the Linguistic Society of America, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Guy Bailey is a sociolinguist and the 1st president of the University of Texas–Rio Grande Valley.

John Baugh is the Margaret Bush Wilson Professor in Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and president-elect of the Linguistic Society of America.

Reviews

Long before #BlackLivesMatter was a hashtag, the contributors to this volume understood, in the 1990s already, that linguistic discrimination against African-American English is one key component in structural violence aka systemic racism against Blacks in the U.S. Each chapter exquisitely documents a particular linguistic, historical or social dimension that makes African-American English a treasure for its speakers and for the community at large. The book as a whole is a roadmap for honoring African Americans and their language—thus honoring the very dignity of our lives and our future. Indeed our Black lives cannot matter if our languages do not matter.

Michel DeGraff, MIT Linguistics, Haiti

As a scholar of African American English, I keep this book within arm’s reach at all times! With contributions from some of the central researchers in the field, this book remains a definitive text on the structure, history, and use of African American language. It deserves to be recognized for the classic that it is!

Tracey L. Weldon, The University of South Carolina, USA