World Englishes: Lesson 4
It was another busy lesson that passed by too quickly. I bet you were surprised that President Obama's and rapped Tupac have similarities in the way they use AAVE.
African American Vernacular English (AAVE):
In order to become familiar with AAVE pronunciation and idiomatic language, we watch a short video that discussed the reason for the use of AAVE.
We then completed an activity that identified the grammar features of AAVE. These include:
Man of Words
We then spent the remaining part of class analysing two different types of AAVE oratory style (or man of words). This is an African cultural value that the slaves brought to the U.S. and preserved by their descendants. In Africa, this man might have been a village chief or shaman who used his oratorical skills to have people follow him. The African American community values high verbal performance and oratorical skills.
A man of words in the African American community is someone who is skilled at reciting in rhyme the history of his experience in important historical events, such as the civil rights movement.
Rap music is part of the man or words tradition. Those who can improvise raps or rhymes on a variety of topics gain prestige in the community.
One of the most famous man of words speaker was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who is known for his "I Have a Dream" speech.
In our class, we compared two examples of "man of words": President Obama's "Yes, We Can" speech and west coast rapper Tupac's "Changes" lyrics.
Remember to note down the terminology from today's lesson. You'll need to know it for our course test:
a. code switching
b. identity marker
e. suprasegmental forward stress
f. oratory style "man of words"
1. Lecture preparation #4