ERIC Number: ED025753
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968
Reference Count: N/A
Non-Standard Negro Dialects - Convergence or Divergence?
The Florida FL Reporter, v65n2 Fall 1968
The author takes up the problem of the origin of Negro dialects in the United States. On the basis of the very limited number of lexical items which can be traced directly to African languages, McDavid discounts the role of African influence on the patterns of current Negro English dialects. William Stewart suggests the possibility of extended influence on Negro dialects of a pidgin widely current in Africa. The author questions McDavid's assumption that "selective cultural differentiation" is responsible for differences of Negro speech from standard English, and finds more credible Stewart's concept of "relexification". This can account for the great similarities between Negro English and standard English, together with the persistence of differences such as uninflected verb forms sometimes having the meaning of habitual action. Serious study of Negro English is needed and such study may "reveal that non-standard Negro dialects represent a divergence from Gullah in the direction of convergence with white non-standard dialects and with standard American English." (MK)
Descriptors: Black Dialects, Creoles, Cultural Differences, Dialect Studies, History, Linguistic Theory, Nonstandard Dialects, North American English, Pidgins, Regional Dialects, Social Dialects, Sociolinguistics
The Florida FL Reporter, 801 NE 177th St., North Miami Beach, Florida 33162 (Reprints $0.25).
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A