Date: Tue, 7 Mar 1995 14:05:43 -0500


Subject: Re: VBE and 60 Minutes

I would appreciate a response to this inquiry. This past Sunday,

60 Minutes, the TV news program, contained a piece on Vernacular Black

English and educational efforts that address VBE. While the segment

contained a range of provocative perspectives on VBE, one person

interviewed in the segment made a claim I had not heard or read before.

Norma LaMoyne (sic?), an educator, claims that the simplification of

consonant clusters such as "tests" to "tes" by VBE speakers is a direct

influence of a Nigerian tribal language. Students in my class who had

seen the program asked me about the claim, since I had mentioned the

example as one which is an example of pressures toward "naturalness" (an

example from Wolfram's Dialects...text) in some vernacular speech. VBE

is not my area, so I would appreciate feedback from you all.

Mark Kuhn

Communication Department

University of New Hampshire