Date: Fri, 14 Jul 1995 09:51:33 +0100


Subject: Re: oj trial

Let me raise another question, since the oj one stirred a good discussion:

My African American students for the past 2 semesters have been using the

term Ebonics to refer to what we most recently seem to be calling AAVE. I

confess that I haven't been keeping up, and the term was new to me. But I

also notice that the linguists I talk to in various groups do not use the

term. So, is this something coming from the popular side? Is it akin to

Black Athena talk, and ice people vs. sun people, or what?


(do I really sound like a New Yorker after all these years? my 12 yr old

daughter recently asked me what the name of my high school, Forest Hills

High, meant. I replied that there were a lot of trees in the neighborhood

40 years ago. To which she went, like, what do trees have to do with it?

After a few rounds of this, I realized she thought Ihad gone to Farrest

Hills High. As in far, farrer, farrest. The most distant hills, something

like that. My wife explained, Daddy doesn't talk (tawk) like the rest of

us--he doesn't say fawrist).


Dennis Baron debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Department of English office: 217-333-2392

University of Illinois fax: 217-333-4321

608 South Wright Street home: 217-384-1683

Urbana, Illinois 61801