Ebonics: The Subject Still Stirs Strong Feelings

Dennis Baron debaron at uiuc.edu
Wed Jul 25 17:08:27 UTC 2007

This goes back -- in the linguistic literature -- at least to the  
1960s with the work of Engelmann and Bereiter on the language of  
disadvantaged African-American children in preschool  (?headstart)  
programs in Urbana IL -- as I recall, that report claimed that these  
four year olds came to school with no language at all, and it was  
what Labov was reacting against in "The Logic of Nonstandard English"  
and his 1966 report on language in the inner city.


On Jul 25, 2007, at 12:00 PM, Anthea Fraser Gupta wrote:

On 7/25/07 12:19 PM, "Anthea Fraser Gupta" <A.F.Gupta at leeds.ac.uk>  

Can anyone explain why all this literature refers to 'language  
and not to 'the learning of Standard English'? Using 'language  
makes it sound as if children are coming to school without any language!

Ron wrote "And that’s exactly what the dominant US folk ideology  
assumes about the
language of African Americans."
Exactly -- is anyone challenging the terminology?


*     *     *     *     *
Anthea Fraser Gupta (Dr)
School of English, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT <www.leeds.ac.uk/ 
NB: Reply to a.f.gupta at leeds.ac.uk
*     *     *     *     *

From: owner-lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.edu [mailto:owner-lgpolicy- 
list at ccat.sas.upenn.edu] On Behalf Of Ronald Kephart
Sent: 25 July 2007 17:22
To: lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Subject: Re: Ebonics: The Subject Still Stirs Strong Feelings


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