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ERIC Number: ED016947
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1967-May-17
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
THE NON-STANDARD VERNACULAR OF THE NEGRO COMMUNITY--SOME PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS.
LABOV, WILLIAM
IN CONNECTION WITH RESEARCH INTO THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN STANDARD ENGLISH AND THE NONSTANDARD DIALECTS OF THE URBAN GHETTOS, IT WAS FOUND THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN THE RELATIVE DEPTH OR ABSTRACTNESS OF THE UNCONSCIOUS GRAMMATICAL RULES. IN MEMORY OR "SHADOW" TESTS, GROUPS OF NEGRO BOYS FROM 10 TO 14 YEARS OLD WERE HIGHLY MOTIVATED TO REPEAT EXACTLY SENTENCES GIVEN IN STANDARD AND NONSTANDARD ENGLISH. RESULTS INDICATE THAT SOME STANDARD FORMS, SUCH AS USE OF "IS", WERE EASILY REMEMBERED AND REPEATED. SENTENCES WITH STANDARD ENGLISH NEGATION FORMS OR "IF" CLAUSES, HOWEVER, WERE UNDERSTOOD BUT WERE REPEATED IN NONSTANDARD DIALECT. REGARDING THE COMPLEX QUESTION OF THE RELATIVE SOCIAL VALUE OF THE TWO FORMS OF ENGLISH, THE AUTHOR FEELS THAT THE ADULT NEGRO COMMUNITY SHARES THE NORMATIVE SOCIAL VALUES OF THE LARGER WHITE COMMUNITY. NEGRO TEENAGERS, HOWEVER, ASSOCIATE STANDARD ENGLISH WITH "EFFEMINACY, GENTILITY, AND OVERCULTIVATION," AND LANGUAGE PROGRAMS SHOULD TAKE THIS INTO ACCOUNT. RESEARCH ALSO SHOWS THAT CHILDREN JUDGED "NONVERBAL" IN SCHOOL LANGUAGE TESTS ACTUALLY HAD RICH VERBAL RESOURCES WHEN STIMULATED BY SOPHISTICATED TECHNIQUES. THE AUTHOR FEELS THAT CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS CAN BE MOTIVATED TO LEARN STANDARD ENGLISH BY EMPHASIZING ITS VALUE FOR INFLUENCING AND CONTROLLING OTHER PEOPLE, SINCE THIS IS THE USE FOR WHICH VERBAL SKILLS ARE ALREADY PRIZED IN THE VERNACULAR CULTURE. (JD)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY.
Identifiers: Temple University PA