Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 08:56:21 -0400 From: "David A. Johns" Subject: Re: The Lords Prayer/Ebonics At 08:02 AM 10/10/97 -0400, Al Futrell wrote: > I find this an odd statement coming from someone who studies language > usage. Although there is no doubt that the fabricated Ebonics example > Carol sent bears little resemblance to how an "Ebonics speaker" might use > the dialect, there also is little doubt that this language variety is > regular misconstrued by non speakers. Seems that as language scholars, > this misappropriation of a dialect -- i.e., "incorrect" examples of > Ebonics flying around the net -- should be part of our knowledge > inventory. Let's distinguish here between honest misconceptions -- say, "Black English replaces all forms of the verb _to be_ with invariant _be_" -- and the deliberate, puerile misrepresentations exemplified by the "Ebonic Lord's Prayer" and that web site. The latter, as far as I can see, is simply the output of the "jive" program, which has been around for at least ten years. It is no more than a blind text replacement program. For instance, it replaces all instances of "th" with "d", and all instances of "you" with "ya'"; as a consequence, "youth" (in the _Electra_ file) becomes "ya'd". Phrases like "What it is, Mama" seem to be thrown in at random. Why such offensive silliness would require academic analysis is totally beyond me. -- David Johns Waycross College Waycross, GA 31501