AAVE query

William Salmon william.salmon at YALE.EDU
Thu Apr 27 19:28:17 UTC 2006

> Some of my students use "What that is?" in asking questions.  Has
> this been studied?  Is it regional, hip-prestige, or what?
> i have asked him if he hears only this one formula, or more things of
> the same form, like "What your name is?"

In his (in)famous 2004 speech for the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board
of Education, Bill Cosby provides a few additional examples...

"They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English. I can't
even talk the way these people talk: Why you ain't, Where you is, What
he drive, Where he stay, Where he work, Who you be..."


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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