The Emergence of Black English: Text and Commentary

Sampul Depan
Guy Bailey, Natalie Maynor, Patricia Cukor-Avila
John Benjamins Publishing, 1 Jan 1991 - 352 halaman
Debate over the evolution of Black English Vernacular (BEV) has permeated Afro-American studies, creole linguistics, dialectology, and sociolinguistics for a quarter of a century with little sign of a satisfactory resolution, primarily because evidence that bears directly on the earlier stages of BEV is sparse. This book brings together 11 transcripts of mechanical recordings of interviews with former slaves born well over a century ago. It attempts to make this crucial source of data as widely known as possible and to explore its importance for the study of Black English Vernacular in view of various problems of textual composition and interpretation. It does so by providing a complete description of the contents of the recordings, by providing transcripts of most of the contents, and by publishing a group of interpretive essays which examine the data in the light of other relevant historical, cultural, social, and linguistic evidence and which provide contexts for interpretation and analysis. In these essays a group of diverse scholars on BEV analyze the same texts for the first time; the lack of consensus that emerges may seem surprising, but in fact highlights some of the basic problems of textual composition and interpretation and of scholarly dispositions that underlie the study of BEV. The papers raise crucial questions about the evolution of BEV, about its relationship to other varieties, and, most important, about the construction and interpretation of linguistic texts.

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INTRODUCTION
1
TEXTS
21
Wallace Quarterman
23
Fountain Hughes
29
Uncle Billy McCrea
41
Uncle Bob Ledbetter
45
Joe McDonald and Woman
51
Isom Moseley
55
The Historical Value Of the Recordings With Former Slaves
123
Slave Narratives Slave Culture and the Slave Experience
133
The Legacy of the ExSlave Narratives
155
The Linguistic Value of the ExSlave Recordings
173
Representativeness and Reliability of the ExSlave Narrative Materials With Special Reference to Wallace Quartermans Recording and Transcript
191
Is Gullah Decreolizing? A Comparison of a Speech Sample of the 1930s With a Sample of the 1980s
213
The Atlantic Creoles and the Language of the ExSlave Recordings
231
A Comparative Study
249

Alice Gaston
59
Laura Smalley
61
Harriet Smith
79
Celia Black
99
Charlie Smith
107
COMMENTARY
121
Verbal s Inflection in Early Black English
275
APPENDIX
327
BIBLIOGRAPHY
331
LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS
351
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