[Ads-l] "Crying Wolof"

Z Rice zrice3714 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 9 16:17:26 UTC 2016


Mr. Sheidlower (since you're online and actually authored the "Crying
Wolof" article on Slate), in my written work I assert that "hip" is indeed
of Wolof origin and I assert that among the native African-American
population, the "p" in the term "hip" is simply a mutation of the Wolof
"w". Thus:

AAV
hip / hep (adj)
fashionable, en vogue, up-to-date in fashion, style, or events; the latest
in fashion or style; the latest thing; what is currently happening (in
events, style, and culture); happening

...comes from:

Wolof
xew (verbal adjective)
1) (to be) fashionable; (to be) en vogue; (to be) up-to-date in fashion or
style; (to be) the latest in fashion or style; (to be) the latest thing;
(to be) trendy; (to be) what's happening

xew (verb)
2) to happen (when speaking of events); 3) to occur (when speaking of
events)

You wrote in the Slate.com "Crying Wolof" article, that Wolof has no "H".
However, american english has no initial "X" (the voiceless back-velar
fricative). The sound that would've been been CLOSEST in the US to that of
the Wolof "x" is the english "h" (this was not mentioned in the Slate
article), and in my work, I assert that "x" obviously mutated to "h"; and
"w" mutated to "p"...since the word-final "w" in Wolof (voiced labio-velar
semi-vowel) is fully articulated unlike the english word-final "w".

w > p mutation is extremely common in linguistics and especially in Africa.
For example: ndap / ndaw  both mean "house" in Cameroon. Likewise, malep
/malew both mean "water" in Cameroon. there are endless examples of this in
African language.

This is what gives us AAV phrases like "a happenin suit"; or "happenin
shoes" which wouldn't make sense otherwise in the english language, but
make complete sense in AAV and definitely in Wolof.

I'd appreciate your response (and by extension, Mr. Laurence Horn's
response) as I believe that the "Cry Wolof" myth has had damaging effects
on the advancement of the study of AAV. I'd appreciate hearing Mr.
Sheidlower's and Mr. Horn's response to this. Thank you.

On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 3:24 PM, Jesse Sheidlower <jester at panix.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "Crying Wolof"
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> You should be able to use Unicode characters in messages, as long as
> you're sending things as a Unicode message. Your previous messages came
> through correctly.
>
> Jesse Sheidlower
> ADS-L
>
> On Wed, Mar 09, 2016 at 12:41:40PM +0100, Z Rice wrote:
> > I'd like to know to how to type here without losing actual characters.
> >
> > AAV
> > bag:
> > 1) habit; custom tradition; way of life; something one does habitually;
> > something ONE ENJOYS
> > 2) one's own skill; talent, or area of expertise; one's job; one's THING
> > (in the song that you mention, he's saying that he has a new
> "thing"...and
> > he mentions several trendy dances or "new things" in the song. However, I
> > do not rely on songs to dig my own language...it is my birthright, and I
> > understand it naturally.)
> >
> > Wolof
> > ba:x habit; custom; tradition; a traditionally done thing (Wolof standard
> > orthography: baax g-)
> > ba:xo: to possess one's own gift; to have (something) as a customary
> > activity or practice (Wolof standard orthography: baaxoo)
> > (the list serve strangely enough doesn't allow me to properly type the
> IPA
> > characters, but you can see it in the link that I initially provided to
> the
> > study to see the proper IPA spelling)
> >
> > I don't like to rely on dictionaries to dig my own language, however,
> > Mahmoud El-Kati, a renowned native African-American historian and
> professor
> > from Minnesota published The Hiptionary. In this book, he defines "bag"
> as
> > follows:
> >
> > the thing(s) that you do, value, or believe; things one values or lives
> by;
> > part of your personality
> >
> > Let's compare that with Wolof:
> >
> > Wolof:  (again, the list serve doesn't allow me to use the IPA symbols.
> You
> > can see it properly in my study.)
> > mba:xE:l   a moral value...ultimately from Wolof ba:x habit; custom;
> > tradition; a traditionally done thing; (Wolof standard orhtography: baax
> > g-)
> >
> > Cf. Wolof ba:x 'morals (of a nation)' (Wolof standard orthography: baax
> y-)
> >
> > This is why "bag" also means for us, "a moral code" or "value"
> >
> > As I mentioned earlier, the idea that AAV is mutually intelligible with
> > so-called Standard English (an idea strongly promoted by linguist John
> > McWhorter) is a myth. This exchange that we're having is simple enough to
> > illustrate that the two languages are NOT necassarily mutually
> > intelligible, requiring code-switching on the part of native
> > African-Americans speakers of the language to be fully and properly
> > understood.
> >
> > Here's to hoping that this formatting will come through in tact.
> >
> > On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 11:08 AM, Margaret Lee <
> > 0000006730deb3bf-dmarc-request at listserv.uga.edu> wrote:
> >
> > > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > > -----------------------
> > > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > > Poster:       Margaret Lee <mlee303 at YAHOO.COM>
> > > Subject:      Re: "Crying Wolof"
> > >
> > >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > > James Brown's 1965 hit, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," refers to
> learning
> > > ne=
> > > w dances.Much of my research involves the study of African American
> > > English=
> > > , especially its=C2=A0impact on mainstream American English and popular
> > > cul=
> > > ture.
> > >
> > > --Margaret Lee
> > >
> > > =20
> > >       From: Z Rice <zrice3714 at GMAIL.COM>
> > >  To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU=20
> > >  Sent: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 3:05 PM
> > >  Subject: Re: "Crying Wolof"
> > >   =20
> > > Thank you for letting me know.
> > >
> > > The OED provides the following reasoning for the AAV term "bag":
> *Meaning
> > > "person's area of interest or expertise" is 1964, from African-American
> > > vernacular...probably via notion of putting something in a bag."*
> > >
> > > I offer the following definition (as a native speaker) and the
> following
> > > etymologies as a researcher:
> > >
> > > *bag* *n* one's own quality; one's own skill; one's own talent; one's
> own
> > > gift; one's specialty; one's own area of expertise; one's job; one's
> > > "thing"; a part of one's personality or make-up. [African origin: Wolof
> > > *ba=CB=90x=C9=94=CB=90* 'to possess one's own quality or gift' (DFW);
> 'to
> > > h=
> > > ave (something)
> > > as a customary activity or practice' (JLD) (Wolof standard orthography:
> > > *baaxoo*) *=E2=99=A2* ultimately* from* Wolof *ba=CB=90x* 'habit';
> > > 'custom'=
> > > ;
> > > 'tradition'; 'a traditionally done thing' (Wolof standard orthography:
> > > *baax** g-*); *Cf.* Wolof *fekka baxa* 'special'; 'specially'; *ku
> fekka
> > > baax* 'one who has a specialty'; *m=C3=B2o ko fekka baax* 'It is
> his/her
> > > specialty' (DFW)
> > >
> > >
> > > I'd like to see the field of research into AAV improved, taken more
> > > seriously, and the "Cry Wolof" myth put to rest once and for all.
> > >
> > > Please note: If the formatting is lost via the mailing list server,
> one can
> > > simply go to the Preview document to find the original:
> > >
> > >
> https://www.scribd.com/doc/303169199/Preview-The-Myth-of-Cry-Wolof-and-the-=
> > > Case-for-Wolof-Etymologies#page=3D8
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 7:24 PM, Salikoko S. Mufwene <
> > > s-mufwene at uchicago.edu=
> > > >
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > > > -----------------------
> > > > Sender:=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 American Dialect Society
> <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.
> > > =
> > > EDU>
> > > > Poster:=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 "Salikoko S. Mufwene" <
> > > s-mufwene at UCHICAGO.EDU=
> > > >
> > > > Subject:=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 Re: "Crying Wolof"
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> > > ------
> > > >
> > > > I had no problem with the original link.
> > > >
> > > > Sali.
> > > >
> > > > On 3/8/2016 10:23 AM, Z Rice wrote:
> > > > > Thanks, Mark; could you please let me know which link is not
> working
> > > fo=
> > > r
> > > > > you? I tried all of them, btw, and they work for me. Let me know
> which
> > > > link
> > > > > isn't functioning for you and I'll look into it. Thanks.
> > > > >
> > > > > On Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 5:19 PM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > >> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > > > >> -----------------------
> > > > >> Sender:=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 American Dialect Society
> <ADS-L at LISTSERV.U
> > > =
> > > GA.EDU>
> > > > >> Poster:=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
> > > > >> Subject:=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 Re: "Crying Wolof"
> > > > >>
> > > > >>
> > > >
> > >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> > > ------
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Clicking on that link brings up
> > > > >>
> > > > >> You are not allowed to view this document.
> > > > >> Sorry, we can't display this document.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Mark Mandel
> > > > >>
> > > > >> On Mar 8, 2016 9:20 AM, "Z Rice" <zrice3714 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > >>> Good Morning to All,
> > > > >>>
> > > > >>> I recently published a critique on the myth of "Crying Wolof"
> and a
> > > > study
> > > > >>> on Wolof retentions or "Wolofisms" in the United States. This
> study
> > > > >>> includes the actual origin of 'hip', along with 'shuck', 'dig'
> and
> > > mu=
> > > ch
> > > > >>> more.
> > > > >>>
> > > > >>> I've made a special document available that allows readers to
> access
> > > =
> > > a
> > > > >>> preview of the study. Readers can access the preview document by
> > > > clicking
> > > > >>> the following link:
> > > > >>>
> > > > >>>
> > > > >>
> > > >
> > >
> https://www.scribd.com/doc/303169199/Preview-The-Myth-of-Cry-Wolof-and-th=
> > >
> > >
> e-Case-for-Wolof-Etymologies?secret_password=3Deg99qbL55WOLpO0S8bk7#fullscr=
> > > een=3D1
> > > > >>
> > > > >> ------------------------------------------------------------
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> > > > >>
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> > > > Salikoko S. Mufwene=C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0
> =C2=
> > > =A0 =C2=A0 =C2=A0 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
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