Date: Mon, 17 Jul 1995 16:34:48 -0500


Subject: Re: oj trial

On Fri, 14 Jul 1995 debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UIUC.EDU wrote:

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?



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


I'm not sure all your students knwo about the article, but there was a

Journal arlticle published a ferw years abcak maybe 1990 or 91 that did a

pole in a Chiago Catholic University. Part of the discussin in the

article was to get African Americans to refer to the way they speak in a

more positive manner and to call it something different than its

references in the past such ad Black English Vernacular in order to

develop a more positive attitude about the language. I'm quite glad to

see that your students are responding so positively. I am working on

this effort at Northeastern Illinois Universityalos. I am a Graduate T.

A. in the Linguistic program and I have been lecturing in the

undegraduate lisguistic course when they do the sectiions on BAE(Black

American English) my preerence. There seems to be a mitzvah going on

when I give my presentation froma very positive point of view. I also

plan to give this discussin at the Iinternationsl TESOL convention next


Is Black English Another Language?