African American Language
Tweet describing a Black man being assigned a Lawyer Dog, due to his request for a "lawyer, dog" being transcribed without the comma. The comments of the tweet offer many similar scenarios
African-American English in North CarolinaPlay video
African American North Carolinians discuss their use of language, touching on style-shifting, communities of practice, phonology, history of language, etc. Lots of metalinguistic commentary and great speakers. "Segment on African American English and its role in the lives and identities of African Americans in North Carolina. Excerpt from from the documentary "Voices of North Carolina""
Rep. John Lewis’ Speech at March on Washington 1963Play video
A speech given by Rep. John Lewis at the March on Washington in 1963.
Angel Haze interview with white DJPlay video
Artifact 1 of 2 in an analysis of style-shifting as a function of interviewer race. This interview was analyzed as part of a project on Coronal Stop Deletion in the speech of Hip Hop artists. [Published on 02-06-2014]
President Obama's Anger TranslatorPlay video
President Obama gets an anger translator. This video is comedic twist to a typical presidential speech.
Earl Sweatshirt x MOCAPlay video
Earl Sweatshirt in conversation with his mother, Cheryl Harris.
Machine Gun Kelly Interview on Complex's Everyday StrugglePlay video
Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly (Colson Baker) giving an interview for Complex Music's show Everyday Struggle, with hosts DJ Akademiks, Nadeska, and Wayno. Published July 30, 2019.
Linguistic Discrimination in SchoolPlay video
Story about a lawsuit brought against a school after AAE speakers in a predominantly white school were put into special education classes and often ignored.
Interview with rapper Angel HazePlay video
Artifact 2 of 2 in an analysis of style-shifting as a function of interviewer race. This interview was analyzed as part of a project on Coronal Stop Deletion in the speech of Hip Hop artists.
Accent and identity (Awkwafina's disappearing blaccent)
Awkwafina (Nora Lum, an Asian-American rapper/actress) has been accused of making use of the AAVE to her benefit and dropping it when she's going more mainstream in recent years - I think this is a great example of how one can use accents to construct different social identities. This also reminds me of the Benor/Eckert article on ethnolect and indexicality.
The Jack Harlow InterviewPlay video
An interview with white rapper Jack Harlow, in which he discusses his presence in the hip-hop community.
"I ATE TOO MANY DRUGS": ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
Warning: Discusses George Floyd's death and trial The defense in trial of police officer Derek Chauvin are misinterpreting utterances of George Floyd before his death in an attempt to justify this murder. This blog post explains these misconceptions and the dangers of misunderstanding AAE (African-American English) as a society with many language variations. [Published on 04-11-2021]
Sorry to Bother You TrailerPlay video
Artifact for the 2018 film Sorry to Bother You. In it, the main character, Cassius Green showcases distinct usage of both /aɪ/ monophthongization and diphthongization.
Never Insult a Queer Person on TV, or Else - Bob The Drag Queen - Live from AustinPlay video
This is a clip of Bob The Drag Queen doing standup comedy in Austin, TX, talking about being queer, as well as winning reality TV shows and family. Artifact 1 of 2 for an analysis of monophthongal vs diphthongal /ai/, following Rahman (2007)'s research on /ai/ variation in African American Language in narrative comedy. This clip was compared with Artifact 2 (The X Change Rate: Bob the Drag Queen https://youtu.be/brFvTNTUtSM?t=1271), which is a talk-show on which Bob is being interviewed by a close friend and fellow drag queen, who is also a speaker of AAL.
Oprah on Black and Standard English
This is the episode where Oprah talks about her views on Black English, famously referring to this type of speech as the 'ebonic plague,'while speaking with features of Black English, as referenced in "Oprah and /ay/: lexical frequency, referee design, and style" (Hay, 1999).
White Chicks TrailerPlay video
this is just the trailer, the real artifact is the movie as a whole. Two black men put on whiteface to impersonate rich white women to solve a case for the FBI. The only thing keeping their characters intact is their use of language, which sometimes returns to AAE for comedic contrast. WARNING the movie features some casual homophobia and transphobia.
Dave Chappelle Stand-Up Monologue - SNLPlay video
Video of comedian Dave Chappelle's stand-up monologue from his time hosting SNL in November 2020.
N Word QuestionsPlay audio
Discussion of N Word
"AAVE is For Black People And Black People Only"
Opinion piece by a Black author on non-Black people using AAE being cultural appropriation. I don't think the author is a linguist, but a lot of the concepts they reference (white people using AAE to look tough or funny or hip, while there is stigma attached to African Americans using AAE) feel similar to things we've talked about, especially the article about Mock Spanish. It's also interesting that the author is pointing out things reminiscent of indexicality (as mentioned, white people using AAE to sound cool or funny, not to actually pretend to be African American), and has a pretty big problem with such use by people who aren't in the social group being indexed, which isn't an attitude we've really seen in the reading. This was linked on a social media post where people were arguing about this topic I saw a while back.
Gob's Perception of the Effect of Skin Color on VoicePlay video
In this very short clip from Arrested Development, Gob's puppet Franklin comes out of the dryer with the color drained from his cloth. Gob had always used AAL for the puppet, but in this clip he uses British English. Since Franklin's cloth/skin is light now, the joke is that he also lost his AAL repertoire and gained a British English variety of speaking. This is an example of the the oversimplified way that people often see language variants as stereotypically mapping on to people.
How Automated Tools Discriminate Against Black Language
CW for racism, linguistic discrimination, & (to a lesser extent) sexism & ableism. An article about how the comment moderation software Perspective deems AAL and other "non-standard" language more toxic or rude, resulting in the censorship of marginalized voices. It addresses the larger problem of white people not understanding AAL, which results in racist software like this being common as long as people (especially women) of color are prevented access to the computer science field. [Published on 03-05-2019]
Rachel Jeantel interviewPlay video
This is part of the interview between Rachel Jeantel and Piers Morgan mentioned in the Rickford and King article. They begin discussing the ways people have attacked Jeantel for her speech at around 5:35.
article on something similar to Contrastive Analysis
An article about problems faced by AAE-speaking students and a similar educational strategy to that discussed in the Rickford article; I do think the same concerns voiced about Contrastive Analysis in general, and definitely the older applications of it Rickford criticizes, apply to this form. [Published on 07-16-2014]
Philadelphia Court Stenographers Misunderstand Black English
A soon to be published study in the journal Language has found that Philadelphia court stenographers often transcribe Black English recordings incorrectly. When presented with Black English grammar and recordings, 27 stenographers were found to make errors in two out of five sentences and could only understand one out of three sentences. The repercussions can be detrimental, as incorrect or deficient transcriptions can lead to unwarranted incriminations. [Published on 01-31-2019]
Dialects of the English LanguagePlay video
This video is an example of the various dialects of the english language, based on speech communities and certain language ideologies. Jamila Lyiscott is a "tri-tongued orator". Race/ethncity have a lot to do with the way in which people speak, as well as where same one was raised. Jamila is an example of these language ideologies, and how perceptions made of the way one speaks may not always be informative to who they are.
Sorry to Bother You and Code Switching
In this article AT McWilliams observes the light the movie _Sorry to Bother You_ brought to code switching. He also observes what code switching really means for African Americans and highlights the importance of more people learning about code switching [Published on 07-25-2018]
Rethinking Grammar: How We Talk
We as people judge the way that others speak, we assume intelligence based on the way that people speak. African American Vernacular tends to be associated with not being very smart [Published on 10-21-2015]
Is "talking white" really a thingPlay video
This is a clip in which two people are blindfolded and asked to determine if people are white or black only by their voice. The speaker is given a song to read aloud as the listeners try to determine if “talking white is really a thing”. There is a belief that people will inherently sound different simply because of their ethnicity. This puts the stereotypes to the test and shows how different vocal inflections are perceived
SNL - Amazon EchoPlay video
Kenan Thompson plays an older African-American man in a parody Amazon Echo ad. He displays several features of AAVE, the most prominent being the phonological (eg. using word-initial stop consonants /t/ or /d/ rather than /θ/ or /ð/).
SNL- Black Jeopardy with DrakePlay video
Drake plays as a African-American from Canada in a Jeopardy show centered around African-American stereotypes. The awareness of the public about certain features they use allow them to construct these stereotypes and place Drake as a part of the out group.
Brother Ali freestyle on GoRadio - 95.3FMPlay video
Brother Ali is a white socially-conscious rapper who, due to being albino and growing up primarily around African-Americans in the Midwest, existed for many years with a publicly ambiguous racial identity. In more recent years (including at the time of this video), Brother Ali has been more explicit about being white In this video, Brother Ali freestyles on a local Twin Cities radio station. He uses numerous features of AAE, including pervasive coronal stop (-t/-d) deletion.
Super Bass by Nicki MinajPlay video
Nicki Minaj's hit rap song "Super Bass"
Cardi B's Casual Speech and RealnessPlay video
In regular speech, Cardi B uses Chicano English and AAE features; she says when she speaks, she doesn't care about her accent, unlike when she sings.
Cardi B's authentic accentPlay video
Audiences applaud Cardi B for embracing Chicano English in her rap music. She also uses AAE features in a way that is typical for rap music.
G-Eazy - Fire In The Booth.Play video
The freestyle that I analyzed for my assignment in AAE. This rapper is interesting because he potentially disrupts traditional notions of authenticity in hip-hop, given the recent "frat rap" movement.
G-Eazy On Stepping Away From H&M, Being A Crazy Gemini, Halsey & More.
The interview that I analyzed for AAE variables. This rapper potentially steps away from traditional notions of AAE/HHL being symbols of authenticity because of the recent spate of "frat rappers."
Sev'ral Timez SongsPlay video
This video parodies 90s-style boy bands, especially their appropriation of AAE. Of note is their declaration, "We're non-threatening!" (found in the first and second clips) which I think captures many white Americans' attitudes towards black culture: a little is cool, but too much is scary. See 0:31 for an example of their use AAE features in speech.
NPR Linguistic Profiling
NPR's Tovia Smith reports on linguistic discrimination in relation to the Fair Housing Act. The interviewee was repeatedly denied housing because of linguistic profiling, and Smith talks about legality and the lawsuit that ensued. The segment addresses many of the concerns in Baugh's "Linguistic profiling" paper. (CW: N-word is used by AAE speaker) [Published on 09-05-2001]
Excerpt from Donald Glover'sPlay video
I used these four songs, a clip from "Weirdo," and this interview of Donald Glover's coronal stop deletion.
Scholars defend ‘African American English,’ from Ebonics to slang to improper grammar
A review of Walt Wolfram's film "Talking Black in America," In which the author clearly articulates a position against the push of the film. [Published on 02-23-2018]
Iggy Azalea FreestylePlay video
Iggy Azalea's attempt at her rap persona and linguistic repertoire without practice. Citation: Eberhardt, M. & Freeman, K. 2015. 'First things first, I'm the realest': linguistic appropriation, white privilege, and the hip-hop persona of Iggy Azalea.
Kevin Hart in "Night School"Play video
In the trailer for the new movie "Night School" starring Kevin Hart, the white principal of the high school "talks Black" and is confronted by Kevin Hart about it, as can be seen at the 48 second mark and the 2 minute and 14 second mark.
Denzel Washington - Dillard commencement speechPlay video
Video of a commencement address delivered by Denzel Washington at Dillard University in May 2015. Compare to Washington's commencement address given at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. Washington is an African American actor and director from New York who is a native speaker of AAE. Dillard University is a small, private, historically black university in New Orleans. Over 90% of the Dillard student body is black. Used for /ai/ monophthongization project for Reed AAE class Spring 2018.
Denzel Washington - Penn commencement speechPlay video
Video of commencement speech delivered by Denzel Washington at the University of Pennsylvania in May 2011. Compare to commencement speech given at Dillard University in May 2015. Washington is an African American actor and director from New York who is a native speaker of AAE. The University of Pennsylvania is a large Ivy League university located in Philadelphia. White students make up a relative majority of the Penn student body. Used for /ai/ monophthongization project in Reed College AAE class Spring 2018.
Jackie Aina's Review of Inclusive Fenty BeautyPlay video
Jackie Aina is a popular black makeup artist and YouTuber who frankly discusses issues of race. She also frequently employs some features of African American English along with Standard English, unlike some other popular black beauty YouTubers who use more Standard English in their videos.
Jesse Williams' Speech (BET Awards 2016)Play video
Popular speech upon receiving the BET Humanitarian award. Example of black preacher style by biracial speaker.
The Newest 'Grey's Anatomy' Hunk, Jesse WilliamsPlay video
Jesse William's interview with Ellen on the Ellen Show in 2010, marking usage of African American Language.
The Cost of Code SwitchingPlay video
This is a 10 minute TedX video addressing the complexities of style shifting/code switching in America, specifically AAE speakers being expected to conform to "standard forms" to survive in America. This talk addresses issues of police brutality, racism, and expectations of who is expected to style shift/code switch and why.
Ghostbuster 2016-Subway ScenePlay video
This is a clip from the movie Ghostbusters, with actresses Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, and Kate McKinnon. Leslie Jones, an AAE speaker, uses the monophthong version of /ai/ in this clip.
Fox News clip sampled on DAMN.Play video
This clip is a really clearly delineated example of "language as proxy" for racism. It's really clear in the tone of the broadcasters when reading Kendrick's lyrics that their issue is not only with the content but with the stigmatized aspects of AAVE. I also wanted to bring up this clip/the album DAMN. because it's a great example of a lot of the themes talked about in the film Talking Black in America, particularly regarding hip-hop. The way Kendrick puts his music, which deals with issues of race and is basically the way he was able to survive violence in dialogue with white people saying "hip hop is doing more damage than racism" is really masterful and gives me chills.
This Is How I talk SNL SkitPlay video
The SNL skit "This is How I Talk" plays off of linguistic and societal norms attributed to different groups of people (in this case black and white people) to create a humorous situation. The situation is funny because Louis C.K. who is an extremely white individual and a speaker of Standard English, pretends to be a native speaker of African-American Vernacular English to avoid letting his new boss know that he was making fun of her. This is unusual because AAVE is strongly associated with race, so to see a white man using this speech type is so out of the ordinary as to be humorous. Later on in the clip, Brenda switches to SE in order to find out for sure if Louis C.K.'s character is only pretending to speak AAVE natively. While she is speaking, she says that "this is my real voice. See, I went to a good college..." indicating the common conception that AAVE is not an "academic" form of speech and reinforcing the social hierarchy that is related to American dialects.
How the triplet flow took over rapPlay video
Although the usage of triplets (i.e. the “Migos” flow) has become very popular as of late, and is currently heard on just about every rap track that hits the Billboard 100, the usage of triplets in rap is not something new. It has its roots in Midwestern and Southern rap communities in the 80s onward. In rap, a triplet is essentially like setting your verse to 3/4 time - three beats per bar rather than 4. In rap, it can be used as a sort of verbal trick - it could slow down a song by throwing off the expected rhythm our brain is expecting to hear or even speed it up. Listening to verses in triplets can also make the rappers’ flow feel cleaner. Lyrically, the songs can be flexible or rigid, allowing a diverse range of rap styles to be done over the beat.
AAVE (African American Vernacular English) Ebonics Is Not “Improper” EnglishPlay video
A video from May of 2016 explaining why AAVE Ebonics is a proper form of English because everyone has their own dialect that is valid. The video goes on to suggest that white supremacy is the cause of all this uproar and if roles were switched then AAVE would be the official language of the United States.
I GET THE BAG Gucci Mane ft. MigosPlay video
This is a new Hip-Hop video with Gucci Mane and rap group the Migos called I Get The "Bag". When people are talking about getting a "Bag" now of days it's just another way of saying getting money or bossing up that's just your "bag". Bag can be used in many different ways it's a new thing that has been used frequently. It's an African american slang word coming from rap culture.
A Few Things to Know About American Sign LanguagePlay video
Similar to the different accents that exist in the English language, different styles of sign language express different cultural upbringings. This video is a short personal account into a few individual’s experiences with sign language and its perception from none deaf people. Explaining issues like the use of the term “hearing impaired”, is considered more offensive than being labeled deaf because it does not recognize deaf people as a “linguistic minority”. The point is that deaf people have a culture. One of the speakers talks about how slang has influenced ASL specifically in the African-American cultural community. Being deaf does not exclude people from existing in a living language that adapts and changes to fit the times. Rich with the impact of various cultures.
"Why Explaining 'The N-Word' To Non-Black People Is So Damn Exhausting"
Article on Cultural Perceptions of the N-Word. Deals with which groups have responsibility or control over a word (and if they can have this control). This also shows lay-person perspective on key socio-linguistic issues. [Published on 05-09-2017]
Invisible Man - Thug Notes Summary and AnalysisPlay video
thug notes is a youtube series about a well read "thug" how wishes to share the gift of classic literature with his fellow gangster.
Transformers 2 mudflap and skidz spitting on leoPlay video
this video shows off to heavily criticized characters from transformers 2 : revenge of the fallen. director Micheal Bay has a habit throughout this movie series of introducing transformers that are stereotypes of races and cultures such as the Mexican and samurai warrior transformers in the 4th movie. mudflap and skidz are no exceptions to this habit, both portraying a stereotypical African american way of talking and using certain words like bust a cap in his ass and nah what I mean?
Reality TV outgroup language usePlay video
This clip shows outgroup language use of a white women on a reality TV show. When she is upset, she begins to use more standard English and less AAE markers. Other people on the show notice. This relates to themes of crossing or outgroup language use and also the question of authenticity in relation to race and speech explored in Cutler's "Keepin It Real" (2003).
Why the DEA's embrace of Ebonics is lost in translation
There are many people who are upset that the DEA are hiring on individuals who are fluent in AAVE or Ebonics because they see this form of language as “broken” or a “bastardization of English.” What people don’t understand is that the DEA is doing this because it is important to have people who understand these vernaculars because of the discriminatory treatment of blacks in the criminal justice system. They want to better understand and present these types of people in their native language because of the constant misunderstandings of their words when law enforcement is involved. It is important for the DEA to have people on their teams who understand this time of vernacular so there is not discrimination or misunderstandings. [Published on 08-25-2010]
At UMass lecture, Stanford professor tackles prejudice against African-American English in courtrooms
A woman’s testimony in court is accused of being “unintelligible” because she speaks a different dialect of English, specifically African American English. The slang terms or speech patterns that she uses do not sound grammatically correct to the courtroom, but back home, it is normal speech. Rickford interestingly notes in the article that since interpreters for foreign languages are used in the courtroom, we should also use those resources of dialects of English that are not as easily interpreted by conventional speakers of the language.
African Children Punished for Speaking Vernacular (Luganda in Uganda)
This brief web article exposes punishment of children for speaking their native languages in Africa and debunks the myths for why English is "needed." [Published on 12-31-1969]
What is Ebonics?
A look into what Ebonics sounds like and how people feel about this style of speaking.
The Importance of Code SwitchingPlay video
Edward Moore explains the importance of Code Switching for success. He emphasizes that people of color need to know how to function in different environments. From "the block" to the board room.
Kodak Black Social Artifact Golden BoyPlay video
He uses a dialect that is familiar with the rap community, and has an accent that is usually associated with the Haitian community. His delivery of the language he uses gives him his swagger, and gives him a style that stands out from other artists. Examples of his lyrics include saying things like "dat" instead of "that", or "witchu" instead of with "with you".
How WSJ Used an Algorithm to Analyze ‘Hamilton’ the Musical
Joel Eastwood and Erik Hinton wrote an algorithm to analyze the different types of rhymes used in the tony Award Winning Broadway Musical "Hamilton", and reveal their Hip-Hop influences. [Published on 06-06-2016]
Use of AAE in Marketing: Jet Blue Example
Jet Blue utilized the term "fleek" in their marketing, which arose from "Black twitter" and is typically considered African American English. It backfires and is deemed as inauthentic, and lots call into question whether it is "professional". This relates to language ideologies; we have certain expectations of who should be speaking in what way, as well as shared ideologies within a particular community of practice. [Published on 02-23-2015]
How to Speak HipPlay video
This is the intro to a 13 part "album" instructing listeners on how to speak and understand "hip" language. Those who want to appear "cool" to this subculture that includes hipsters, juvenile delinquents, jazz musicians, etc.
Code-Switching: Obama's N-Word Moment Makes Civil Rights History
The article includes the quote from President Obama, in which he says the n-word, which ended the President's final White House Correspondents Dinner. The importance of this is the switch between what could be considered formal English and AAVE. The article also addresses the question of language ideologies by responding to the idea that it was inappropriate for the term to be included in the speech. Furthermore, that language ideology is rooted in racist ideologies, so the utterance is also a response to power structures. [Published on 05-02-2016]
There's nothing controversial about code-switching
The article, on face, is only about code-switching, but the article goes on to address the standard language ideology which contends that it only happens and/or is negative when African American speakers engage in code-switching. Thus, the article also addresses, although somewhat shallowly, the issues of power and/or racism. [Published on 05-04-2016]
Senate Debate over "Ebonics" in SchoolsPlay video
This is a fairly processed montage of the hype mentioned in Labov's article and analyzed in Lippi-Green, Rosina. (2012).
Keith Ape - 잊지마 (It G Ma) (feat. JayAllDay, Loota, Okasian & Kohh)Play video
Music video depicting East Asian (Korean and Japanese) rappers using AAVE. This video was highly controversial because many felt the rappers were appropriating black culture, especially since the song itself was based off of an African American hip-hop song ("U Guessed It" by OG Maco).
Kyle vs. KanyePlay video
Highlights the absurdity of participating in rap culture without adapting some amount of AAE - the protagonist's middle-class white background clashes in the way accounted for in Cutler, Cece, 2003. Note the only potential AAE marker, "dope" which is marked in the above article as a strictly "fake" AAE marker.
The Ebonics Controversy in my Backyard
This article talks about Ebonics and Code-Switching, It explains what happened when the Ebonics controversy broke out.
Key & Peele - Obama Meet & GreetPlay video
This Key & Peele comedy sketch humorously depicts Obama and the different ways he talks to black and white people after a speech. There's a lot of code switching going on in this sketch. There are a handful funny references in here as well, from rap to slang.
Black Folks SlangPlay video
A black comedian basically goes through a handful of different types of "black folks slang" and explains what they really mean. He does this through a couple different ways, from using the slang in a sentence, to describing exactly what it means, to even showing tweets that use a particular type of "black folks slang." He also does it in a humorous way which makes it easier to understand and more engaging.
Ax VS. AskPlay video
The video is an example of "ax" vs. "ask". Becuase "ax" is sterotyped as being less statusful, hearing politically prominant figures like Barack Obama use language in this way stands out.
Hooked on Ebonics
The article dives into several important concepts as they relate to the understanding of Ebonics. The author explains that there are rules and variety within Ebonics that demonstrate its value as a variety of English. The author also addresses that Ebonics is not just "a black thing" and that many whites, Hispanics and Asian Americans all engage in AAVE.
Family Guy StereotypesPlay video
This video is a combination of stereotypes that have aired on family guy over the years. Many of these stereotypes have to do with race and language in society today.
Key & Peele - Obama's Anger Translator - Meet LutherPlay video
In this video clip of Key & Peele, Peele's Obama is a very mild-mannered character who calmly addresses his audience, and Key's Luther interrupts Obama's speech to represent Obama's inner anger.
African American Vernacular English (AAVE)Play video
A humorous look at the interpretation of AAVE from the movie Airplane! ca. 1980. Beyond this being an example of linguistic ideologies at work it also serves as social commentary on how AAVE was perceived in the time the movie was made.
Obama Code-Switches at the Voting BoothPlay video
President Obama is interrupted while voting and code-switches while talking to a woman.
Fresh Prince: Carlton plays "Gangster"Play video
In this video created from the show Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Carlton, who is known as a preppy, straight-A, and very propper character changes his complete "style". He is in the projects with a bunch of gangsters who live a completely different lifestyle and also talk completely different than Carlton. Therefore, Carlton constructs his identity and changes the way he speaks and even dresses in relation to the gang members he is surrounded by. His cousin Will is completely thrown off, but realizes that he is only changing his "style" because of his surroundings.
Ernestine Johnson Performs 'The Average Black Girl' on Arsenio Hall ShowPlay video
Ernestine Johnson's performance of "The Average Black Girl" shows the stereotype of talking white vs talking black. Here is a good example of the relationship between race and language.
Clinton's drawl, Trump's 'yuuge' N.Y. accent and campaign 'code-switching'
The article discusses several politicians' adressee-based style shifting while speaking to different groups of people. Gives an example of monophthongization from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama using elements of AAE. The article also talks about differences between the styles of Jeb Bush and George W. Bush. [Published on 03-05-2016]
Cut For Time: Def TED Talks - Saturday Night LivePlay video
A skit making fun of Ted talks by creating a 'Def Jam' version. It uses AAE and has Caucasian speakers trying to act like African Americans.
English or EbonicsPlay video
This is a video that show the code-switching involved between "Standard English" and African American Language.
Garrard McClendon on Black English - EbonicsPlay video
Garrad McClendon addresses the dangers of the African American language. Although he believes the African American language is beautiful, he feels strongly that the African Americans in the US need to learn how to code-switch. They need to learn when it is appropriate to talk in slang and when it is necessary to code-switch to "proper" English. Garrad also addresses the issues that teachers need to become more aggressive in correcting children's language at a young age and not be afraid of doing so. The children's future is dependent on being taught proper English and being correct when they don't use it.
The Linguistics of AAVEPlay video
This video discusses the history of AAVE, "African American Vernacular English. It address the origin, the pronunciations, and how it is used. The video gives great examples of AAVE and the translation of what it means in "proper" English.
What Matters- Code Switching: Communication That MattersPlay video
A great video on a more educational aspect of code switching and how important it is to understand the implications of this valuable language tool.
Beyonce - FormationPlay video
In this song and music video, Beyonce addresses stereotypes of the African-American community and uses language and style-shifting to play on how the public perceives wealthy black individuals such as herself and her family. She also discusses her upbringing in the deep south and mentions how her family's "negro" and "Creole" heritages combine.
Black Jeopardy--SNLPlay video
CW for a brief reference to domestic abuse. One in a series, this sketch imagines a black version of Jeopardy! with categories such as "It's Been a Minute" and "White People." The episode features a black Alex Trebek (Kenan Thompson), two black contestants (Jay Pharaoh and Sasheer Zamata), and a white professor of African American Studies (Louis C.K.). Linguistically the video is interesting because, though exploiting common stereotypes of the African American community, it does so using phonologically and morphosyntactically authentic AAE (switching at times into a more vernacular style).
Lil' Kim - Single Black FemalePlay video
One song off Lil' Kim's album The Notorious K.I.M. which I analyzed with respect to CSD.
V-Nasty Talks N-Word ControversyPlay video
On the topic of AAE, WHH and authenticity. V-Nasty, of the somewhat infamous White Girl Mob, talks about (and defends) her usage of the N-word, even losing the favor of contentious Kreayshawn.
If Folks Wanna Pop OffPlay video
This week, Obama said "pop off" in a public address. Responses were...enthusiastic.
Nelly - Hot in HerrePlay video
The urr variable.
Assault SwimPlay video
Jessica Williams reports on a Texas pool party that ended with police assaulting a group of young black teenagers.
Key and Peele Rap Album ConfessionPlay video
This Key and Peele sketch also makes use of a black AAE speaker and a white middle class establishment character. In contrast with Little Homie, this skit illustrates both Key and Peele's abilities to style shift according to the character they are portraying.
Key and Peele Little HomiePlay video
CW: Violence and blood. This skit by Key and Peele casts the comedians as a black speaker of AAE and a white establishment character who makes use of a puppet that speaks AAE.
Ultimate CockblockerPlay video
One of the videos used for my /ai/ monophthongization study. ~64% /ai/ monophthongization.
Diphthongal TerryPlay video
Here, Terry is talking to his boss, and therefore produces more diphthongal /ai/s than his more casual speech.
Terry Needs Nutrients!Play video
All of Terry's food spoils, resulting in a long list of "my ___", and some nice monophthongal /ai/s.
How to be a Grown Ass WomanPlay video
This is an hour long radio piece from WNYC featuring Jessica Williams (among other accomplished women) where interviewees discuss moments and period in their lives that they believe marked their adulthood as women. Although it is public in the popular culture sector, Jessica Williams is essentially participating in a standard sociolinguistic interview as she tells stories from her past that are close to home for minutes at a time. Due to her telling personal stories, I thought this could be a good opportunity for more casual, natural speech that may include /ai/ monophthongization. [Starts at 33:00].
Obama's Eulogy of Reverend PinckneyPlay video
This is an excerpt of the eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney delivered by President Obama after the Charleston shooting at the Emanuel AME Church. He makes strategic use of preaching style to establish a rapport and sense of belonging with a black audience in a religious setting.
Drunk History Harriet Tubman
The story of Harriet Tubman, as drunkenly told by a speaker of AAE.
Bryan Silva is a celebrity on Vine, a video sharing website that caps videos at 6 seconds. Silva uses Vine to promote his career as a white rapper. As part of establishing his legitimacy as a rapper, he employs use of AAVE and uses his lyrics (and his body) to demonstrate his masculinity. The video is too short to hear the initial consonant, but in the word "with" he uses a /d/ instead of an /ð/. In the only post-vocalic /ɹ/ environment ("your"), he drops the /ɹ/. His use of the word "ain't" is also a demonstration of his AAVE. The content of this particular line also reinforces his masculinity. He discounts "fufu lame shit" (i.e. experiences he's not proud of or chooses not to associate with) and threatens to "send some shots at your fitted" (a type of hat). Silva perceives rap as a masculine genre. By employing what he perceives to be masculine linguistic and stylistic features, he stakes his claim as a rapper. In other videos, Silva says the n-word and says that he has a right to use it (and other AAVE features) because he grew up in a black neighborhood. [Published on 04-11-2014]
Using the Vernacular to Teach the Standard
Text from a 1998 talk by linguist John Rickford, which presents data on the failure of schools to teach SAE when they ignore AAL, and demonstrates how a knowledge of the grammar of AAL is important for teaching speakers of it. Factors in class. [Published on 03-25-1998]
DYSA African American English (or Ebonics) in the classroomPlay video
A clip from the documentary "Do You Speak American?" profiling the use of contrastive analysis exercises to teach children who speak both SAE and AAE in the LA Unified School District.
Game done changed: A look at selected AAVE features in the TV series The Wire
Article that looks at the features of AAE (and specifically Baltimore AAE) through the lens of The Wire.
Time Magazine's "Which Words Should We Ban?"
The banned word poll consists mainly of slang found in youth culture and in AAE, and while the article suggests the words in question are new and over-exposed, the lexical items in AAE have long been in use. The descriptions for the words and slang mock those who use them, heavily targeting African American youth. [Published on 11-12-2014]
The n-word: An Interactive Feature
An interactive piece on use of the n-word in contemporary American English, with interviews from varying perspectives and on varying aspects of the term's use, including in- vs. out-group usage, reclamation, and its use in hip hop culture. [Published on 11-10-2014]
"Ask" versus "Ax"
This article examines the social stigma of using "ax" instead of "axe". NPR labels "Ax" as a distinguishable feature of AAE that many associate with being "poor, black, and uneducated". Garrard McClendon of Chicago State University stated that his parents were "well aware" of the stigma, and taught him that "there's a time and place to use it", encouraging purposeful code switching. Comedians Key and Peele joke that being half black and half white causes them to use both depending on whether they are with friends ("ax") or being pulled over ("ask"). This feature, however, dates back over 1000 years. Jesse Sheidlower, president of the American Dialect Society, says it is in the first English translation of the bible as "axe". Professor John Rickford of Stanford remarks, "so at that point it wasn't a mark of people who weren't highly educated", and that we can't be sure where the popularity of "ax" stopped yet stayed put in the American South and Caribbean. He says it could be "the empire striking back: taking language that has been imposed and making it our own". Rickford also notes, "I don't think any linguist is recommending that you get rid of your vernacular, because you need it - in a sense - for your soul". This article highlights the significance of linguistic versatility; the use of "ax" is only as "right" or "wrong" as a person labels it - and there are multiple opinions! [Published on 12-03-2013]
Which English you speak has nothing to do with how smart you are
A Slate guest post by linguist Anne H. Charity Hudley addressing issues of language discrimination in U.S. schools based on the use of nonstandard varieties and features. She argues in favor of embracing language diversity in the classroom. [Published on 10-14-2014]
Talking white: Black people's disdain for proper English and academic achievement is a myth
A Slate article challenging the notion that black Americans stigmatize both academic achievement and the use of standard English as 'acting white." The author argues that black speakers who bristle at being accused of 'talking white" are perhaps being accused of failing to code- or style-shift appropriately. [Published on 10-02-2014]
Why do rappers have fake accents?
An interview with David Crystal on the speaking and rapping of Iggy Azalea, a white Australian woman who adopts AAE features in her hip hop style.
Gator fan fails miserably with Jameis Winston "scrong" sign
A response to a sign making fun of football player Jameis Winston's pronunciation of the word "strong," with palatalization in the initial cluster. Many football fans have stigmatize the player as illiterate and uneducated. [Published on 09-13-2014]
Common: The PeoplePlay video
The music video for Common's song "The People," in the rapper uses many features of African American English.
The Language of Maya Angelou
Sociolinguist Anne H. Charity Hudley discusses the linguistic legacy of Dr. Maya Angelou. Although Angelou spoke out against the legitimacy of African American English during the Ebonics Controversy in the late 1990s, Charity Hudley points out her use of many features of AAE, from morphosyntax to discourse. [Published on 05-29-2014]
The "ax" versus "ask" question
A 2014 op-ed in the LA TImes from John McWhorter on the pronunciation of "ask" as "ax" by African Americans.
The Grammar Rules Behind 3 Commonly Disparaged Dialects
A 2013 piece highlighting three features of three stigmatized U.S. dialects - a-prefixing in Appalachian English, "liketa" in Southern English, and remote past BIN in African American English
Rachel Jeantel's Language in the George Zimmerman Trial
A guest post on Language Log by John Rickford on the media's reaction to the use of AAE in the testimony of Rachel Jeantel in the 2013 George Zimmerman trial.
Language on Trial: Rachel Jeantel
A 2013 interview on NPR's Here and Now with sociolinguist John Rickford about the testimony of Rachel Jeantel, a speaker of Haitian Creole, Spanish, and African American English, during the George Zimmerman trial.
Insect Triggers Dramatic Code SwitchPlay video
An African-American news reporter shifts from a very standard style into a considerably more vernacular one when a bug flies into his mouth.
Bill Cosby on EbonicsPlay video
Bill Cosby's "Pound Cake Speech" in 2004, where he denies the legitimacy of African American English.
Do You Speak American: AAE in Ann Arbor, MIPlay video
A clip from the 2004 documentary Do you Speak American that covers the "Black English case," or "King case," in which the parents of African American English-speaking children won a case brought against Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in Ann Arbor, MI in the late 1970s.
NPR: Kreayshawn breaks in, but whose party is she crashing?
A 2011 profile of white female hip hop artist Kreayshawn, leader of a "white girl mob" of Oakland hip hop artists, which highlights the criticisms of her related to her race and gender.
Macklemore: White PrivilegePlay video
A song from white hip hop artist Macklemore that addresses issues of race and ethnicity, specifically whiteness, in the hip hop community and argues that white participation in hip hop is an instance of white privilege.
Teaching Tolerance: Sound Effects
A 2013 article in the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Teaching Tolerance" publication about addressing linguistic diversity in the classroom.
J-Roc, Microphone AssassinPlay video
Serial crosser J-Roc, a character on the TV comedy series Trailer Park Boys, gives a lesson on critical race theory.
Study finds blacks' English increasingly different
The 1985 New York Times article reporting on Labov's research demonstrating divergence for Black English Vernacular in Philadelphia. The article plays a major role in the divergence debates of the 1980s. Citation: Fasold, Labov, Vaughn-Cooke, Bailey, Wolfram, Spears, and Rickford. 1987. Are black and white vernaculars diverging? Papers from NWAV XIV Panel Discussion. American Speech.
Having Trouble Being BlackPlay video
Two African American men employ code-switching while making a video, prompting one to accuse the other acting white.
Know Your Meme: Been Had Money
A description of the internet meme "been had money," which started with a 2009 viral video entitled "Been counting money." Citation: Green, Lisa. 1998. Remote past and states in African American English. American Speech.
The Whispers: Rock SteadyPlay video
"Steady rockin' all night long" from The Whispers' 1987 demonstrates the AAE marker "steady." Citation: Baugh, John. 1984. Steady: Progressive Aspect in Black Vernacular English. American Speech.
When Presidents say "Y'all:" The Strange Story of Dialects in America
A 2013 Atlantic interview with Walt Woflram on dialects and politics.
Yo Momma JokesPlay video
A You Tuber in 2007 demonstrating his best "Yo Momma" jokes. I use this with the reading: Labov, William. 1972. Rules for Ritual Insults. In Language in the Inner City.
Flavor Flav and Doctor Dre Play the DozensPlay video
A video from 1988 of Flavor Flav and Doctor Dre trading ritual insults. I use this with the reading: Labov, William. 1972. Rules for Ritual Insults. In Language and the Inner City.
Slate: The Ebonic Plague?
A 1997 article in Slate Magazine on the Ebonics Controversy.
African American English: The WrenPlay audio
An audio file of an African American man reading the poem The Wren.
NPR: Code-swtiching: Are we all guilty?
A 2010 NPR piece about the criticism of President Obama's "negro dialect," with a broader discussing of both style-shifting and code-switching.
Prescription and African American EnglishPlay video
A 2006 Fox News Chicago story about Garrard McClendon and his visits to classrooms with African American students where he highlights their grammatical "mistakes."
DEA to hire Ebonics "Translators"
In 2010, The DEA put out a job ad for nine speakers of African American English to serve as translators.
Linguistic Profiling on 20/20Play video
20/20 feature on racial linguistic profiling and housing discrimination with linguist John Baugh.
Racism (Linguistic Profiling) Caught on TapePlay video
White office manager at Tennessee car rental company makes racist remarks over the phone after wrongly guessing the race of the customer based on linguistic profiling.