ERIC Number: ED395528
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Pragmatics of Elusive Languages.
Mufwene, Salikoko S.
Pragmatics and Language Learning, v3 p162-181 1992
The definition of and distinction between two variations of American English, African American English Vernacular (AAEV) and Gullah, the American creole spoken on the coast of Georgia and South Carolina, are discussed. It is argued that while these and other varieties are defined typically by their basilects, the reality encountered in the field is that of variable, non-monolithic systems characterized as "mesolectal," with variable morphosyntactic and semantic kinship to the lexifier and substantial structural heterogeneity and formal alternatives for the same functions. These languages are termed "elusive." When the "code" is not clearly identifiable, it is difficult to apply pragmatics. Patterns of usage of AAEV and Gullah are examined from this perspective and by comparison with usage patterns in other regions. The hypothesis that this is an example of code-mixing is examined and rejected. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A