Black People : Linguistic Determinants of Racial Profiling

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Destee, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Linguistic Determinants of Racial Profiling

    Press Release from: Tuncer Can
    2006/11/25 14:43


    Language within communities and linguistic variety have been of concern to many sociolinguists like Labov, Trudgill, Gumperz, Kurath and Baugh. In their studies various forms of English have been studied. Among the variety, r- dropping, final cluster simplification, reflexive pronouns, s-dropping, absence of copula, invariant be, aspect (done) and multiple negetaion can be mentioned. In Labov’s study they are presented to be social markers which lead to stereotyping. Moreover, linguistic differences are said to be used for racial profiling. Some rules of Standard English are being used
    differently by some speakers of English, and often these speakers are believed to be blacks. Some linguists believe that the differences in performance are due to English’s being creolized by blacks in Africa or Carribean Islands. However others state that different forms are in parallel with the Language’s natural way of operating and its historical development, and that these are not broken forms but they are present in the language. The debate has gone far to naming this variety as AAVE ( African American Vernacular English) and Ebonics.

    Trudgill (2000) and Wardhaugh (2003) note that r- dropping rule has been used by black speakers of English in United States. For example, Labov gives evidence in his study in three shops in New York City. He asks the salespeople where the shoes department is, which is on the fourth floor. There he gives data of that black employees contribute into lower use of –r, and older salespeople use the –rless form. He also states that –rless form had been prestige form in New York City in the beginning of the century, but not at present. Also in words like Carol, Paris, from, car and cart AAVE speakers are likely to omit –r. In today’s NYC ommision of –r indicates uneducated and lower class people. However, educated and middle and upper class people use r in final position.

    In addition to this difference speakers od AAVE also pronuonce the words they, think, brother and nothing like dey, tink, bruvver and nuffin. This kind of usage marks a lower social status, however. People are stereotyping among the users of such pronunciation. They are thought to be uneducated.

    Final cluster simplification also occurs among black people. For instance, desk – des, walked – walk, cold – col, nothing – nuffin. People who say the words with this manner are thought to be lazy and not willing to comply with the standard variety of English. They are seen as broken forms. People using this kind of simplifications are believed to be lower class.

    According to Trudgill ( 2000) many AAVE speakers do not have –s in third person singular present tense form. So, forms like he go, and she play occur. Strangely enough, this characteristic of –s dropping form also occurs in British English dialects like East Anglia and Norwich. In today’s EFL these forms are being evaluated as false grammars which are missing one important grammatical component. Learners who are learning English as a foreign language are required to learn the standard variety and are not given the chance to enjoy the creativity and the flexibility of the language itself. Even the famous Montaigne writes: “The greater part of this world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar”. I think that the possibility of occurance of these forms is due to flexibility of the concept of language, be it English or any other.

    Absence of copula or zero copula has been exemplified by Labov (1969) in his study with a Harlem gang the Jets. The rule for zero copula is if you can contract be in Standard English, then it can become he nice in AAVE. According to Wardhaugh, zero copula is very rarely found in the speech of whites’, and not all speakers of AAVE use it. Labov notes that the use of zero copula shows the strenghth of the group membership, the blackness of the group members, and solidarity of the member. This is true that language use marks social status and social sides. This natural fact is being ignored by, to me, false stereotyping. The language indicates power relations in the society, anywhere on the world. Michael Byram notes that language is a political phenomenon. This indicates tha fact that society construes itself through language use.

    In this aspect, the use of invariant be is the use of the form be as a finite verb form. For example, he usually be around, they sometimes be incomplete. This form also occurs in some British dialects, but AAVE is different than them in the sense that this form occurs only in “habitual aspect”. This fact implies how some groups withing today’s heterogenous societies can shape their reality through new forms. However, the people who are using such forms are thought to be lower class and not educated enough.

    Another distinction AAVE has is the “completive aspect” and “remote aspect” use of done and been instead of usual Standard English use of had. I had talked could become I done talked meaning that the action is complete and I been talked meaning that the action happened in remote aspect. Such uses are creative and expressive in their own reality. However, these uses can’t be observed in grammar books, which would be interesting for many people. Instead of praising the production processes of such usages, they are being ignored and thought to be false, whereas they are real for whoever uses them. They fulfill the intention and the goals of their users.

    Double and multiple negetation are being used by AAVE, which had been possible in Old and Middle English. According to Fromkin Bishop Robert Lowth had changed this by his book English Grammar written in late 17th century. His book written comparing Latin and English had influenced the language use of upper class and double negation has been disapproved since then. However this occurs in today’s AAVE. “Can’t he do nothing” and “He ain’t do nothing” are examples.

    http://www.businessportal24.com/en/Linguistic_Determinants_Racial_Profiling_76710.html

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  2. OmowaleX

    OmowaleX Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Okay Sister Destee...

    I dont know exactly what to say about this entire article but one thing stands out to me....the reference to English being "Creolized".

    Because of many of our long standing, prior to slavery and colonialism roots with Moorish "Spain" and the Moorish presence in North and West Africa which extended into Mexico (Anexem) amd Ta-Meri-Ka (america) "Creole" was more a dialect prior to the english (anglo) presence in these territories and if was the establishe lingua franca in Louisiane prior to us colonization (i.e. statehood). English itself is a "bastardized" language.It is heavily "anglo-saxon" but it principally is spoken from descendants of Normandy, in northern France.

    The problems with some of these studies is they tend to focus on the vernacular of Black folk in urban areas but very few studies are done with the subjects being white working class folks in southern states who speak more "ebonically" than many northern Black folks.
     
  3. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Brother O ... i found it a bit humorous ... folk studying us ... seeing if we drop the r ... and judging us by that.

    I didn't realize we were being watched so closely ... every letter, of every word, that comes out of our mouth.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  4. OmowaleX

    OmowaleX Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Sister Destee....they watch us so closely for any signs that we are "Waking Up" cuz they know its only a matter of Time.

    This is one thing I had to deal with in a conscious manner as a public school teacher....mastering not only the white man's language, written and spoken, but also "code switching" because I tend to speak 'non-conventionally' and used to trip out some of my co-workers when speaking at in-services because they could tell I was consciously addressing them "formally" but then would address them "informally" in private conversation.

    They seemed amazed that I even knew the difference.

    And this is something I also taught my students in reading. That "ebonics" was ok for them to "speak" in an informal context and also in creative writing.

    White parents didnt like that but the curriculum backed me up.

    I take it they didnt apporve of my letting a few white kids know it was ok to "speak black" and also to write the same way as their black classmates.
     
  5. PurpleMoons

    PurpleMoons Administrator STAFF

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    Dey be wantn to know sis, cause we be influencin the people all ova the worl. :lol: B4 you know it, it will be a required class in schools, and folks will be payn monies just to learn it.:)
     
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hey all,

    Wouldn't it be amazing if we began to study ourselves too?

    Blackbird (settles in dark shadows)
     
  7. PurpleMoons

    PurpleMoons Administrator STAFF

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    LOL heyyyy heyyy now...! :lol:

    Stay out of those dark shadows, droppin that wisdom and then leavin.

    I've missed you Brother Blackbird!:heart: Welcome back home!
     
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