Explore BrainMass

African Elements in African American English

Please see the attachment.
Explain the attached articles and note the main points in each one.

1. Africanisms in African American Names in the United States, is by Joseph E. Holloway.
2. African Elements in African American English, is by Asante.


Solution Preview


Let's take a closer look.


Chapter 3

In the essay, African Elements in African American English, is by Asante.

The problem addressed is that despite the preponderance of pidgin and later of Creole among early Africans in America, little investigation into the structure, history, context, or possible relationships with West and Central African languages was ever undertaken. Asante pointed out that the followers of Turner, Herskovits, and Garrett were too narrow in their perspectives to adequately substantiate the continuity of Africanisms in African American English.

Asante proposed that black Americans retained basic components of the African experience rather than specific artifacts. She also argued that the communication styles of African American speakers constitute the real continuity with the African sense.

She surveys some of these complex verbal behaviors, which constitute continuity and relationship between West African languages and African American English.

Asante found that the linguistic factors support this basic proposition. For example, African American speakers have maintained this fundamental sense of culture despite the imposition of European cultural values and styles. Retention of lexical items constitutes one part of the continuity, but the major burden of African American English has been carried by such communicative processes as the African American manner in expression, supported in the main by serialization and a unique usage of tense and aspect. Asante reports that neither phenomenon has any analogue in the English language, providing further proof that Ebonies derived in large part from the genius of West African languages.

She provides a chart tracking the history of African Languages to Ebonics. (p. 70). One example of a sentence from Ebonies demonstrate this relationship:

My ole man been dead goin' on twenty years; Ca' se I been belongin' to de church for fifty-five years,' Just left up to dem, I'd ave been dead; All my chiiluns done died or wandered away an' my oldman been deadgoin' on ttpenty years (p. 78).

Asante also reports that a more useful investigation was made by William A. Stewart, who observed the lack of verbal inflection in Ebonies to show the difference between simple present and ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains the main points in the following two articles: (1) Africanisms in African American Names in the United States, by Joseph E. Holloway and (2) African Elements in African American English, by Asante.