LANGUAGE OR DIALECT?
Ebonics is often defined as a vernacular form of the English language. This highly controversial title also known as African American Vernacular English (AAVE) by Encyclopedia Britannica, reflects the dialect of American English spoken by a large portion of the African American population. Many scholars hold that the term Ebonics developed from contacts between nonstandard versions of English and various African languages. It is commonly used among low income, undereducated African American youth. The exact origin of the term has been greatly debated. It is believed that the emergence of Ebonics originated with the emergence of African American traditions. Examples are music, religious rituals, and cooking styles. It was possibly created through times of slavery while slaves found it necessary to communicate without their masters’ comprehending them.
However, as for the exact beginning, the phrase was coined by psychologist Robert Williams. Williams defines Ebonics as a combination of West African languages and English. It should not, however be confused with slang, which he defines as groups of words or phrases that are formed from words not even found in the English language. These words are often used by specialized groups of people. Williams coined the phrase using the terms ebony and phonics in order to describe its dialect.
Although the origins of Ebonics are vastly debated and analyzed, the major debate is if Ebonics is actually a language and whether or not it should be considered as such in our nation’s educational system. Several school districts around the country have implemented the inclusion of Ebonics in their teaching methods.
Language can be defined as a system of words formed from combinations and patterns, used by a group of people with shared history and traditions, or that live in a particular area of the country. Ebonics can be defined as a...