Summary Of John Mcwhorter's Black English

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In discussing Black English, John McWhorter talks about the theories of the origin of the language. McWhorter talks about how people have made claims that Black English is related and comes from African languages. He also tells how their research on this subject is unreliable and “sketchy.” These people making these claims are outside of linguistics, meaning they practice things such as education and speech pathology. People like Dr. Smith, a teacher at a medical college, suggested that Black English is a mixture of African languages with English, where these African languages have altered English into a new language. Though McWhorter disproves this theory by showing that these “African Englishes” are called creole languages and are spoken in different areas like West Africa and the Caribbean. African languages are also extremely different from English in every way, making it foreign to English, …show more content…

They declared Ebonics a language based on African roots while borrowing vocabulary from English. McWhorter was the only linguist that represented a con position. He talks about how those children had more problems with the schools themselves than just the linguistics. He thinks that African American children should be able to speak whatever they want to and be proud of it. For example, McWhorter talks about in the late 1800’s, in southern Sudan, slaves that spoke many different languages were put into “occupying Turco-Egyptian armies” that were under Arabic-speaking leaders. Arabic was used by soldiers to communicate with one another, while on plantations, Arabic was at first a pidgin variety that soon expanded into a form of creole. McWhorter says,”Expelled from the country by nationalist forces, these soldiers were resettled permanently to Uganda and Kenya, where their descendants still speak this creole Arabic called Nubi, Unintelligible to speakers of Arabic

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