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ERIC Number: ED239323
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov-12
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Professional Responses to Non-Negotiable Ethnic Markers in Black Language and Culture.
Kochman, Thomas
To be culturally valid, the characteristics identified by dialectologists as distinctive of black English must correspond to the terms members of the black community use to characterize their speech. Not all of the patterns that characterize black English within the dialectal framework are equal in their social or ethnic significance--the speech pattern that has one meaning for one group of blacks may well have quite another meaning for another black group, and no special social significance for a third. It would be helpful to know what blacks consider negotiable or nonnegotiable language patterns, because such information would not only serve to strengthen theories of black linguistic acculturation but might also contribute to the development of better classroom strategies for teaching standard English. Knowledge of black English characteristics would also help to illuminate issues and concerns relating to black performance within and adaptation to mainstream institutional life. Black culture values spontaneity, improvization, and intuition, and these modes cannot be realized effectively if individuals have no control over how they are to perform a task. To the extent that black culture produces an orientation or style that is not only functional for blacks within the context of their community but also singularly useful to the larger society, it becomes a professional responsibility to keep such modes alive and well. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (69th, Washington, DC, November 10-13, 1983).