XIV Міжнародна наукова інтернет-конференція ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES OF SCIENCE AND EDUCATION (19-21.04.2018)

Русский English

Научные конференции Наукові конференції

Устименко К., к. пед. н., Пиндик О. Г. BLACK ENGLISH

Устименко Катерина

Студентка 5-го курсу

Відділення іноземних мов

Вінницький гуманітарно-педагогічний коледж

науковий керівник: к.пед.н., доц. Пиндик О.Г.


Every language allows different kinds of variations: geographical or territorial, perhaps the most obvious, stylistic, the difference between the written and the spoken form of the standard national language and others. It is the national language of England proper, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and some provinces of Canada. It is the official language of Wales, Scotland and on the island of Malta. Variants of a language are regional varieties of a standard literary language characterized by some minor peculiarities in the sound system, vocabulary and grammar and by their own literary norms.

English is actually an unusual language.  Already a blend of early Frisian and Saxon, it absorbed Danish and Norman French, and later added many Latin and Greek technical terms.  In the US, Canada, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and elsewhere, it absorbed terms for indigenous plants, animals, foodstuffs, clothing, housing, and other items from native and immigrant languages.  Plus, the various dialects, from Cockney to Jamaican, and innumerable sources of slang, from Polari to hip hop, continue to add novel terms and expressions to the mix. 

It has been noticed by a number of linguists that the British attitude to this phenomenon is somewhat peculiar. When anyone other than an Englishman uses English, the natives of Great Britain, often half-consciously, perhaps, feel that they have a special right to criticize his usage because it is "their" language. It is, however, unreasonable with respect to people in the United States, Canada, Australia and some other areas for whom English is their mother-tongue. Those who think that the Ameri­cans must look to the British for a standard are wrong and, vice versa, it is not for the American to pretend that English in Great Britain is inferior to the English he speaks. At present there is no single "correct" English and the American, Canadian and Australian English have devel­oped standards of their own.

Black English was investigated by D. Crystal ("The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language "," English Language"), by C. Baugh and T.Cable ("History of the English Language"). [1;54-92], [3,18-30].

Black English is a term going back to 1969. It is used almost exclusively as the name for a dialect of American English spoken by many black Americans.

Black English is a variety of English, spoken in America and it is the subject of many controversies, the problem being that of whether considering it a language, a dialect or simply a slang talk. This language variety, also known a Ebonics, is nearly as old as Standard American English, but it has often been misinterpreted as defective, it has never been standardized and has always had lower status compared to Standard American English.

From the 1960's to the present, African American English has increasingly become also acceptable term for Black English , and the corresponding official name for the language variety used by Africans Americans is thus African American English or African American Vernacular English (AAVE).[2;86]

Black English is complex, controversial, and only partly understood. Records of the early speech forms are sparse. It is unclear, how much influence black speech has had on the pronunciation of southern whites; according to some linguists, generation of close contact resulted in the families of the slaves owners picking up some of the speech habits of their servants, which gradually developed into the distinctive southern ‘drawl'. Slave labor in the south gave birth to diverse linguistic norms; former indentured servants from all parts of the British Isles, who often became overseers on plantations, variously influenced the foundation of Black English. First the industrial revolution then the Civil War disrupted slavery and promoted African-American migration within the U.S., as a result of which slave dialects were transplanted from Southern plantation to the factories of the North and Midwest. There was a widespread exodus to the industrial cities of the northern states, and black culture became known throughout the country for its music and dance.

Other informative evidence in tracing the development of Black English lies in newspaper ads reporting runaway slaves. In locating and identifying a runaway slave, the slaves' speech played an instrumental role. It is important to remember that the slave trade was not outlawed until 1808, and even then it was not strictly adhered to. Smitherman reports that "As late as 1858, over 400 slaves were brought direct from Africa to Georgia". Consequently, there was a constant influx of Africans who spoke no English at all. This produced a community of people with a broad array of mastery of Black English and even Standard English. [4,107]

 This is made clear when we see the newspaper ads that reported runaway slaves. This stratification of language is vital in the development and the development of the perception of Black English, if it is remembered that not all Blacks were slaves in Early America. Successful runaways were likely to be those who attained a relative mastery of Standard English. The mastery of Standard English would prove invaluable to a slave who had to travel a long distance across American soil to win his freedom. Furthermore, early Black writers, such as Frederick Douglass, wrote in the Standard English of his time. A mastery of Standard English was also beneficial in passing as a free Black. In a very real and disturbing way, Black English became the language of slavery and servitude [5; 212].

List of the used sources:

•1.  Baugh C. and Cable T .History of The English Language. N.Y.: Taylor&Francis, 2002.

•2.  Baugh C. and Cable T. English As a World Language. N.Y.: Taylor&Francis, 2002.

•3.  Crystal D. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. London, 2002.

•4.  Crystal D. The English Language. N.Y.: Penguin Books, 2001.

•5.  Duisebayeva F.S. Linguistic Aspects of Black English- В сб.: A. 2007.

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