Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 23:02:33 -0500
From: "Bethany K. Dumas" dumasb[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UTK.EDU
Subject: Definition of "ebonic"?

I just received a post from someone on another list with the ff. text
embedded in it; please note the use of "ebonic vocabulary and
structure." (I don't think that Robert Hall is resposible for this!)

I took a linguistics course or two at Cornellin the early 70's when I
was studying French and comparative literature -- Robert Hall was still
around then. In a French philology course he gave us one factoid that
has truly stuck with me, that there are at least 4 usage levels in any
literate culture: formal standard (educated people writing), informal
standard (educated people talking), informal substandard (what my
criminal and neglect clients use, with "ebonic" vocabulary and
structure*), and best of all, formal substandard, found in every police
report I've ever read.