Readings: 1. Kaplan, ch. 2 2. Geoffrey Pullum’s “African American Vernacular English is not Standard English with mistakes”, available on Ares (you can also find it if you just google the title). Please answer question 1, and either question 2 or 3. Keep your response to one page. You don’t need to give citations of the assigned readings. 1. (Everyone answer this). On p.17, Kaplan describes the main result of the study by Green and Roeper (2007), that AAE and non-AAE speakers had a different answer to the question about the story Kaplan cites in (15). Explain the logic behind Green and Roeper’s result. You’ll need to read the whole section, not just p.17, to answer this question. You don’t need to track down the original study by Green and Roeper, though you may want to do so if you’re interested in further reading on this topic. (Pick one of the following two to answer): 2. Using Pullum’s article, give two examples of AA(V)E features that are not found in Standard English but found in some other language of the world. 3. Briefly describe an experience you have had, in Canada or elsewhere, that involves the standard/non-standard dynamic described by Kaplan and Pullum. Do you speak a variety of a language that is stygmatized? Have you encountered speakers of a stygmatized variety?
Reading Response 2
Q1. There are various differences between African American English (AAE) and Standard English. AAE tends to follow a set of complex grammatical rules that are different from Standard English (Kaplan, 2016). For instance, most verbs in AAE differ from those in Standard English. In fact, there are some parts of the AAE verb system that are arguably more complex than Standard English (Kaplan, 2016). As a result, one word in Standard English could mean something totally different in AAE. It is in this regard that the AAE and non-AAE speakers had a different answer to the question in Kaplan’s story in relation to Green and Roeper’s results (Kaplan, 2016). In other words, the speakers may have interpreted the questions differently based on the verbs used or the grammatical rules of their dialect/ language.
Q2. There are a number of AA (V) E features that are not found in Standard English but are present in other languages across the world. For example, the term “she BIN married” can be interpreted to mean that one has been married for a long time in AA (V) E (Pullum, 1999). However, the same sentence in Standard English means that the person in question was married at some point in their lifetime (Pullum, 1999). In this case, Standard English lacks the stressed BIN grammatical marker. Similarly, another common feature of AA (V) E that lacks in Standard English is the aspectual be. This feature is often used to indicate regular or habitual actions in AA (V) E (Pullum, 1999). For instance, the sentence Bruce be running means that he has been doing the action continually or on a regular basis. AA (V) E can, therefore, be said to have a grammatical distinction that is absent in Standard English.
Kaplan, A. (2016). Women Talk More than Men. Cambridge University Press.
Pullum, G. K. (1999). African American Vernacular English is not standard English with mistakes. The workings of language: From prescriptions to perspectives, 59-66.