the draft so far:

Chapter 16 is about ebonics, which is a variety of english/language spoken by some African Americans; it is also known as aae or aave. The term ‘ebonics’ comes from combining ‘ebony’ with ‘phonics’, the idea of which was to legitimize aae as a linguistic variety. The chapter also focuses heavily on a major controversy surrounding ebonics – that of a resolution passed on the subject in 1996 by the Oakland CA. school board – as well as on other related debates and issues. The text discusses what the resolution said, the intentions behind the resolution, and why it was controversial (including a misunderstanding over the nature of their intentions). It then goes into statements from a 1997 resolution by the Linguistic society of America (LSA) on the subject. 

The first statement expresses that, aae is “systematic and rule-governed like all natural speech varieties”(306). Having done the previous reading of chapter [x] on african american english, we are aware not only that this is true, but also about what the rules of aae are, regarding things like syntax, grammar and sentence structure.  Further, the text tells us that the “characterizations of ebonics as[…]‘ungrammatical’, or ‘broken english’ are incorrect and demeaning”(306). These judgements of aae are one reason that the original resolution was controversial: many were rigidly opposed to what aae is, inherently. A second statement informs readers that the difference between a language and a dialect is highly political and social, and I would say it is somewhat arbitrary: dialects, we’re told, are varieties that share the same writing system, while languages must have different ones. The LSA’s resolution also states that recognizing varieties of languages as legitimate can aid students in learning the standard language.


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