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African American English in the Diaspora


CAD $96.99

African American English in the Diaspora

Shana Poplack, Sali A. Tagliamonte

ISBN: 978-0-631-21266-9 October 2001 Wiley-Blackwell 320 Pages


This provocative volume investigates the origins of contemporary African American Vernacular English (AAVE), one of the oldest, yet unsolved, questions in sociolinguistics.
List of Figures.

List of Tables.

Series Preface.


1. Introduction.

2. African Americans in the Samaná Peninsula.

3. African Americans in Nova Scotia: Settlement and Data.

4. External Controls.

5. Method.

6. The Past Tense.

7. The Present Tense.

8. The Future Tense.

9. Conclusions: An Essay on the Origins and Development of African American English.



"This exhaustive and compelling study includes numerous charts, tables, and figures that aid comprehension. Strongly recommended for advanced sociolinguists." Choice

"[African American Eglish in the Diaspora] constitutes both a treasure of information and an indispensable tool for linguistic investigation." Canadian Journal of Linguistics

"The present reviewer, accustomed to the scarcity of data presented by colleagues and scholars engaged in building hypotheses on the diachronic French connections in the Americas, popular, vernacular or creole, and to the paucity of the methodological apparatus exhibited, found this reading of Poplack and Tagliamonte's book a veritable delight; it is a welcome model in our field." The Carrier Pidgin

"This book is a milestone in the development of the historical and evolutionary approach to linguistic analysis. I would like to think that this clear demonstration ...would close at least one chapter in the history of the creole controversies. . . Poplack and Tagliamonte have done a splendid job of bringing people back into the study of change and variation."
William Labov, University of Pennsylvania.

"From now on, no serious inquiry into the nature and history of African-American Vernacular English can afford not to use this book as a benchmark. At last, a thorough and closely reasoned case that despite this dialect's current status as a crucial marker of African-American identity, its main roots are in Great Britain."
John McWhorter, University of California at Berkeley.

"African American English in the Diaspora is well researched, easy to read, and a significant contribution to understanding the impact of social relations on the linguistic development of African American English in the Diaspora. The original research goes beyond a linguistic study, it is a treasure for historians as well."
Patrick Kakembo, Director of African Canadian Services Division, Department of Education, Nova Scotia.

  • Situates linguistic developments regarding AAVE within a sociocultural and historical matrix.

  • Presents details about the relationship of AAVE to various non-standard English dialects.

  • Offers linguistic analyses of the tense/aspect systems of Samaná English & African Nova Scotian English.