Date of Award

12-16-1999

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Willard C. Pitts

Second Advisor

Jo Ann Clark

Abstract

The overall scope of this research is to define and explain the different styles of African American English. What are they and how do they affect the American society? The means by which many African Americans communicate is different from what American deems as standard American English (SAE). To this date, the voice of Black America has been categorizes as Black Dialect, African American Vernacular English, and Black English. Only until recently has the Black voice been regarded as Ebonics. Where did these language styles originate and why do we continue to speak it? Of course, there is nothing wrong with the language, but true enough there is a time and place for its use. For centuries, African Americans have had their own "language," and, since its inception, has been passed down form generation to generation. Many authors have research and determined that his type of language is a form of slave talk. During slavery, Blacks had to have a way of communicating with each other so that the "Massah" could not understand what they were discussing. Thus, a type of dialect was created. Is this dialect of English something about which all should be concerned or is it just a generational product?