[Ads-l] Hip/Hep and "Crying Wolof" (for Horn & Sheidlower)

Z Rice zrice3714 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 14 12:46:53 UTC 2016


Mr. Mufwene, I would like to respond to you directly.

We cannot have this conversation, when you refer to the mass
human-trafficking and genocide of children, women, and men, as something as
dignified as a "trade". This already tells me that you are educated and
conditioned to navigate within the eurocentric paradigm. That paradigm is
not mine but you have indeed adopted it as your own - as is indicated in
your earlier post.

This paradigm colors everything that you wrote to me - which by the way,
was riddled with strawman arguments. You did not address the actual
terminology in my study, while you simply used "gumbo" and "okra", terms
that were NOT in my study, to give the appearance that you were refuting my
work. Additionally, you used Congo/Angola and the Bight of Benin as
strawmen to refute a paper that is specifically about WOLOF. Why would
Congo/Angola and the Bight of Benin be in a paper that is about the myth of
"Crying WOLOF"??

Again, you can continue to believe that these etymologies related to
hundreds of words are mere "coincidences". This is the settler paradigm.
You have been educated within that and you use it to reason - even when it
comes to what is African itself. I do not.

And to be clear, I debated addressing YOU for a long time. I've read your
work, particularly your comments on research that was already carried out
by AA elders and I felt compelled to respond to YOU. How you've managed to
overlook so many African etymologies in our language is beyond me - perhaps
it is because you are not a native speaker of the language(s) that you so
often write about.

However, I did not contact you, as I decided to navigate with the wisdom of
our elder, Dr. John Henrik Clarke:  "I only debate equals. All others, I
teach."

Regards,

Zola S.

On Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 9:10 AM, Salikoko S. Mufwene <s-mufwene at uchicago.edu
> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Salikoko S. Mufwene" <s-mufwene at UCHICAGO.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Hip/Hep and "Crying Wolof" (for Horn & Sheidlower)
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Dear Zola:
>
>      I have debated for a long time before deciding to respond to your
> post, because the subject matter you discuss has tended to lump both
> intellectual and emotional reactions indiscriminately. African languages
> have undoubtedly contributed some lexical items to the English
> vocabulary. The most uncontroversial, such as /okra/ and /gumbo/, happen
> to be areal features, quite widespread among the languages of
> sub-Saharan Africa, especially in areas where African captives were
> brought from. They are also common in Caribbean English creoles.
>
>      It is also a fact that enslaved Africans have sometimes used
> mechanisms within English itself to generate meanings that African
> Americans do not, or did not originally, share with other Americans.
> These innovations may or may not have been fostered by particular
> meanings evident in African languages spoken by some enslaved Africans.
> One must sort out whether such meanings are calques from African
> languages or are simply innovations within the colony. When there are
> also similarities with particular forms in African languages, one must
> sort out whether they are chance similarities or whether there are
> historical facts that support claiming them as probable etyma for the
> lexical items and uses in question. Producing evidence and dates of
> earlier attestations of such forms/uses (even as reported by earlier
> observers, as the late J. L. Dillard often did) is really helpful.
>
>      I skimmed through your article and could not establish that you
> have addressed these questions before reaching your conclusions. This is
> the kind of approach that was once criticized as the "Cafeteria
> Principle," although I have argued myself that the "Cafeteria Principle"
> is fine, as long as the "Principle" aspect of it is accounted for.
> Unfortunately, your article has not addressed this. You may have a case,
> but you have not supported it, as far as I can tell.
>
>      It is true that a large proportion of slaves from the Senegambia
> area were brought to the present USA, but many, many more were also
> brought from south of the area, especially from the Slave Coast (the
> Bight of Benin) and the Congo-Angola area. It also depends on which
> European nation did the trade and where the captives were taken. In the
> 18th century, a substantial proportion of Senegambian captives were
> taken to Louisiana, then a French colony. Many of the Senegambian
> captives did not necessarily speak Wolof, which spread as a dominant
> lingua franca in Senegambia largely through the French exploitation
> colonization of the region, in the 19th century. As you can see, there
> are a lot of things to sort out, including whether the meanings you
> discuss may be an areal features or just happen to be coincidences,
> especially if Senegambians happened to have been minorities in the
> English colonies that matter.
>
>      The point I want to make is that, while the agency of Africans in
> shaping AAVE should not be questioned and it is also true that some
> modern English lexical meanings and idioms have spread from the African
> American population, one must follow a particular protocol of
> demonstration before being so certain that the etymology is Wolof
> and/but not from anywhere else. You have certainly directed our
> attention to something that is worth investigating further. The
> conclusion is up in the air... somewhere.
>
> Sali.
>
>
> On 3/13/2016 9:30 AM, Z Rice wrote:
> > All of this is disingenuous and diversionary.  NONE of of this addresses
> > the original post and the Wolof evidence.
> >
> > Focusing on when and where a term was first published is rendering
> yourself
> > a glorified data-entry clerk.
> >
> > I can hire a temp to perform the exact same services.
> >
> > I have forwarded my work to the scholars that matter.  You can continue
> > with the diversionary tactics, simplistic analysis, and eurocentrism
> here,
> > but with all due respect, you're simply making yourselves looks
> ridiculous.
> >
> > No matter what the myth of "Cry Wolof" is officially DEAD. My work is in
> > the hands of the scholars that matter. The study of AAV is advancing, and
> > in this process, the old guard must be left behind.
> >
> > Zola
> >
> > On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 2:59 PM, Jonathan Lighter <
> wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> >> -----------------------
> >> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> >> Subject:      Re: Hip/Hep and "Crying Wolof" (for Horn & Sheidlower)
> >>
> >>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >>
> >> It is also true that representations of AAVE either by African-American
> >> writers or well-informed whites are comparatively rare before WWII.
> >>
> >> I can't think, offhand, of any really substantial glossaries of black
> slang
> >> before Dan Burley's enthusiastic _Original Handbook of Harlem Jive_
> >> (1944).  Those that exist are perfunctory
> >>
> >> An informed analysis of Burley's book is long overdue (unless there's
> one
> >> that I'm unaware of, which is a distinct possibility).
> >>
> >> JL
> >>
> >> On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 9:49 AM, Jonathan Lighter <
> wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >>> The data available to HDAS two decades ago made it impossible to say
> >>> which, hip or hep, was "the original."
> >>>
> >>> Both appear in writing at almost the same time. The popular presumption
> >>> that "hip" is the original and therefore the "correct form" is neither
> >>> provable nor disprovable.
> >>>
> >>> "Hip" and "hep" first appear in print - in white theatrical and
> criminal
> >>> discourse - ca.1900.  "Hep" was long the predominant form.
> >>>
> >>> "Hepcat" and the very less frequent "hipcat" don't show up until the
> >> swing
> >>> era.
> >>>
> >>> JL
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 11:10 PM, James A. Landau <
> >> JJJRLandau at netscape.com
> >>>> wrote:
> >>>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> >>>> -----------------------
> >>>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >>>> Poster:       "James A. Landau" <JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM>
> >>>> Subject:      Re: Hip/Hep and "Crying Wolof" (for Horn & Sheidlower)
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>> On Fri, 11 Mar 2016 13:53:57 zone+0800 W Brewer <brewerwa at GMAIL.COM>
> >>>> wrote:
> >>>> Subject:
> >>>>
> >>>> <begin quote>
> >>>>
> >>>> <hippity-hop> is obviously connected to the quintessentially AA
> hip-hop
> >>>> cultural movement.
> >>>>
> >>>> Hippity-hop to the barber shop,
> >>>>     To buy a stick of candy;
> >>>> One for you, and one for me,
> >>>>     And one for Brother Andy.
> >>>>
> >>>> Note the significant reference to Spencer Williams at the end of the
> >>>> poem.
> >>>>
> >>>> Who could doubt that <hippity-hop> derives from <hip-hop>, if not
> >>>> ultimately from Wolof, given the phonological, semantic, & cultural
> >>>> correspondences?
> >>>>
> >>>> <end quote>
> >>>>
> >>>> Actually, Mr. Brewer, the term "hip-hop" was originated by an
> >>>> African-American musician who was reading Beatrix Potter and decided
> >> that
> >>>> since he was a member of a disadvantaged minority group he felt
> affinity
> >>>> with Peter Rabbit.
> >>>>
> >>>> Seriously, English has a long-standing fondness for what might be
> called
> >>>> "mishmash" words, words of the form AXB-AYB where A and B are
> >> consonants or
> >>>> consonant clusters and X and Y are vowels.  Examples:  riff-raff,
> >>>> flim-flam, flip-flop, zig-zag, tic-tac-(toe), click-clack,
> knick-knack,
> >>>> Long-Fong-Spong Hong Kong Ping Pong Ding Dong.  These are easy to
> >> invent:
> >>>> books published in Riga are Lett Lit.
> >>>>
> >>>> (Mishmash words are not restricted to English, e.g. in the French
> >>>> original of "Frere Jacques" the bells sound "din dan don", and in
> Sweden
> >>>> there is a series of children's books about three boys named Snip,
> Snap,
> >>>> and Snur.)
> >>>>
> >>>> I have absolutely no evidence for the following conjecture, but it is
> >>>> easy to imagine that some musician or music critic (probably but not
> >>>> necessarily African-American) decided that here was a new genre of
> music
> >>>> and it needed a name.  The music was definitely "hip" and this
> theorized
> >>>> coiner may have then thought of the phrase "hippity-hop", or even of
> >> Peter
> >>>> Rabbit, or of some other rabbit, or maybe even the dance known as the
> >>>> "bunny hop", and came up with "hip-hop".
> >>>>
> >>>> One thing I do know about "hip" and "hep" is that the latter was
> widely
> >>>> known in white America by 1945, when the US Navy had a squadron of
> >>>> submarines (USS Sea Dog, Crevalle, and Spadefish) known as "Hydeman's
> >> Hep
> >>>> Cats".  (There were two other squadrons, "Piece's Pole Cats" and
> "[Bob]
> >>>> Risser's Bob Cats".  Collectively, the three squadrons formed the
> "Hell
> >>>> Cats".)
> >>>>
> >>>> Did I miss somewhere in this thread evidence that "hip" derived from
> >>>> "hep" or vice versa?
> >>>>
> >>>> - Jim Landau  (who wouldn't recognize a piece of hip-hop music if one
> >>>> hopped in front of him)
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> _____________________________________________________________
> >>>> Netscape.  Just the Net You Need.
> >>>>
> >>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> >> truth."
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> >>
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> --
> **********************************************************
> Salikoko S. Mufwene                    s-mufwene at uchicago.edu
> The Frank J. McLoraine Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics and
> the College
> Professor, Committee on Evolutionary Biology
> Professor, Committee on the Conceptual & Historical Studies of Science
> University of Chicago                  773-702-8531; FAX 773-834-0924
> Department of Linguistics
> 1115 East 58th Street
> Chicago, IL 60637, USA
> http://mufwene.uchicago.edu/
> **********************************************************
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list