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ERIC Number: ED029280
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Apr-19
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Sociolinguistic Perspectives on the Speech of the "Disadvantaged".
Wolfram, Walter A.
Views from different disciplines and within different disciplines often come into sharp conflict with one another about the speech of lower socio-economic class Negroes. Furthermore, some current views of Black English have challenged basic linguistic and sociolinguistic premises about the nature of language. It is therefore the purpose of this paper to examine some very basic premises about the nature of language which have a direct bearing on current viewpoints toward Black English: (1) Languages are notoriously "nonlogical;" it is therefore a deceptive practice to teach the so-called "logic" of languages and to vindicate statements about the rules of a language by philosophical dictums about the logical nature of languages. Yet one of the common grounds for rejecting Black English by educators is that it is illogical. (2) A second premise of the linguist is that all language systems are adequate for communication. Yet, one need not read very far in the literature on the speech of the disadvantaged to find them characterized as non-verbal, verbally destitute, or at best drastically deficient in their speech. (3) A basic linguistic axiom is that language is systematic and ordered, but some treat Black English as an unsystematic and irregular deviation from standard English. (4) Language is learned in the context of the community, but Black children are judged by a norm to which they have not been exposed--SE. (Author/DO)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper delivered at meeting of the Speech Association of the Eastern States, New York, April 19, 1969.