Chapter published in:Language Contact in Africa and the African Diaspora in the Americas: In honor of John V. Singler
Edited by Cecelia Cutler, Zvjezdana Vrzić and Philipp Angermeyer
[Creole Language Library 53] 2017
► pp. 203–224
Some observations on the sources of AAVE structure
Re-examining the creole connection
There now seems to be agreement that the grammar of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) has its primary sources in settler varieties of British English. However, there is still no consensus on the role played by creole varieties in shaping certain aspects of AAVE grammar, or on the time frame for such influence. Drawing on both linguistic and sociohistorical evidence, this paper argues for the role of both British input and creole influence in the evolution of AAVE. In particular, I argue that certain distinctive features of AAVE morphosyntax might best be accounted for in terms of influence from Gullah, as well as possibly Caribbean input that also shaped Gullah itself.
Keywords: African American English, AAVE history and evolution, Anglicist hypothesis, creolist hypothesis, Gullah, verbal -s
Published online: 12 July 2017
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