[tied] Re: Satem shift

From: markodegard@...
Message: 8659
Date: 2001-08-22

John writes:
> I believe there have been books on Black English if you
> are interested. Even further out of sync with modern
> American English is Gullah English spoken by African
> Americans in the coastal areas of Georgia and the
> Carolinas, the two dialects have nothing in common.

Be careful. Gullah is a creole, a fusion of English and
West African elements. It is no more 'English' than is
Tok Pisin of Papua New Guinea, or than Haitan Creole is

> Several years ago in Oakland, California there was a
> movement to teach classes in Black English with
> Standard English taught as a second language. A
> national uproar erupted and debate for and against
> was common.

Black English Vernacular (BEV) took a beating in the
'Ebonics' brouhaha. BEV also began life as a creole,
and like Gullah, is a mix of English and West African
languages. BEV has since move closer to standard English,
but nonetheless remains a distinct linguistic entity with
its own distinct grammatical rules. It *indeed* has native
speakers, some of whom need help mastering 'English as a
foreign language'.

The huge number of monolingual standard English speakers
tends to obscure the remarkable linguistic diversity found
in the United States.