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Inner-City English - Essay Example

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According to William Labov, the “English” being spoken in American inner cities is “not simply slang but a well-formed set of rules of pronunciation and grammar” that is capable of conveying complicated logic and rationalization – that is with sense and thoughtful meaning – and thus is not really rooted from or based on Standard American English but is a Black vernacular English (Labov 15). As aforementioned, the argument that Inner-City English lacks form and is therefore “sloppy” is merely an implication of a longstanding political issue. Blacks have always been the subject of discrimination and subordination for so many years. The Black Americans have been placed under a framework of pervasive and extreme violence, which carried on until today, and which has extended to the determination of the standards of American English. In the recent years, attention has been bent on the sociolinguistic aspect of the Inner-City English. Much concentration has been poured into the patterns of speech that is common among Black Americans in inner cities. As a matter of fact, in 1997, Labov testified before the Senate that most Black Americans in the inner employs an unusual pairing of spelling and sound or pronunciation – and this has become more difficult for speakers of other dialects (Labov 245). And this must have been the basis of the criticism that Inner City English lacks form and is sloppy. First of all, there is no general consensus as to how English should be pronounced or even as to the form or pattern of the English language and how to properly use it. Inner City English cropped up as a result of the cultural practices of the Blacks in the inner city, which are ritualistic in nature. The idea that Standard American English is much more systematic as compared to the Inner City English is misleading – the pattern and form of the Inner City English may be a tacit among the members of the Black community, especially in the inner cities. But because ...Show more
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There had been many negative criticisms on the establishment and rather widespread use of Inner-City English, which is said to be “corrupted and inferior form of Standard American English” solely for the reason that it has “no rules or patterns” while arguing that…
Author : bernadettegreen
Inner-City English
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