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African American Vernacular English (Ebonics)

This entry begins by retracing linguistic terminology pertaining to the speech of African Americans, with primary emphasis on the United States. Unlike groups that voluntarily immigrated to the United States, enslaved Africans shared a different linguistic journey with unique historical details; indeed, the term Ebonics grows from the international relevance of the involuntary linguistic contact that resulted from the African slave trade. The speech of enslaved Africans is further illustrated by linguistic examples, each placed within historical context. The educational relevance of African American Vernacular English (AAVE), which is frequently referred to as Ebonics (a term that has international relevance beyond the United States), is introduced after a discussion of changing linguistic terminology. Some historical considerations precede concluding remarks confirming the global influence of AAVE, ...

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