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English Language in America. America’s Language. American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately.

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Presentation on theme: "English Language in America. America’s Language. American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately."— Presentation transcript:

1 English Language in America

2 America’s Language. American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States. English is the most common language in the United States. Though the U.S. federal government has no official language, English is the common language used by the federal government and is considered the de facto language of the United States because of its widespread use.

3 The Settlement of America. America originally had no white people. The original or natural inhabitants are the Natives. Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct Native American tribes and ethnic groups, many of which survive as intact political communities.

4 When the European settlers came, they brought with them European disease which the Natives had no immunity to. Many Natives were kill by foreign disease like small pox that were brought by the Europeans. Later on, the European settlers put much pressure on the Native Americans as the invaders took over their lands and at times attempted to exploit the Natives. Many fights broke out between the ambitious Europeans and the stressed Natives.

5 In 1492 while under contract to Spanish crown, Christopher Columbus discovered several Caribbean islands and making first contact with the indigenous people. On April 2, 1513, Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León landed on what he called "La Florida"—the first documented European arrival on what would become the U.S. mainland. Spanish settlements in the region were followed by ones in the present-day southwestern United States that drew thousands through Mexico. French fur traders established outposts of New France around the Great Lakes; France eventually claimed much of the North American interior, down to the Gulf of Mexico. The first successful English settlements were the Virginia Colony in Jamestown in 1607 and the Pilgrims' Plymouth Colony in 1620. Between the late 1610s and the American Revolution, about 50,000 convicts were shipped to Britain's American colonies. Beginning in 1614, the Dutch settled along the lower Hudson River, including New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island.

6 The 13 Colonies. The Thirteen Colonies were the colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America founded between 1607 (Virginia) and 1733 (Georgia). The colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Before independence, the thirteen were part of a larger set of colonies in British America.

7 Becoming America By 1776 about 85% of the white population was of English, Irish, Scottish or Welsh descent, with 9% of German origin and 4% Dutch. These populations continued to grow at a rapid rate throughout the 18th century primarily because of high birth rates, and relatively low death rates. They practically out breed the original Native Americans. Over 90% were farmers, with several small cities that were also seaports linking the colonial economy to the larger British Empire. About 600,000 slaves were imported into the U.S., or 5% of the 12 million slaves brought across from Africa. These people would in the future become the African-Americans.

8 Western America. Traditional definitions of the Midwest include the Northwest Ordinance "Old Northwest" states and many states that were part of the Louisiana Purchase. The states of the Old Northwest are also known as "Great Lakes states". Many of the Louisiana Purchase states are also known as "Great Plains states". The Great Lakes region –stretching from New York to Minnesota – has played a vital role in the lives and histories of Native American peoples who have resided along their shores for millennia.

9 European settlement of the area began in the 17th century following French exploration of the region and became known as New France, the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763. French control over the area east of the Mississippi River ended in 1763 with the conclusion of the French and Indian War. British colonists began to expand into the Ohio Country during the 1750s.

10 American Revolution & Revolutionary War (1775–1783) Tensions between American colonials and the British during the revolutionary period of the 1760s and early 1770s led to the American Revolutionary War for the American Revolution, fought from 1775 to 1781. The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America. The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the American War of Independence,[8] or simply the Revolutionary War in America, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the new United States of America, but gradually expanded to a global war between Britain on one side and the United States, France, Netherlands and Spain on the other.

11 The American Revolution was the result of a series of social, political, and intellectual transformations in early American society and government, collectively referred to as the American Enlightenment.

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13 The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War in America, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the new United States of America, but gradually expanded to a global war between Britain on one side and the United States, France, Netherlands and Spain on the other. The American boycott of taxed British tea led to the Boston Tea Party in 1773, when shiploads of tea were destroyed.

14 Slavery and African Americans During the first two decades after the Revolutionary War, there were dramatic changes in the status of slavery among the states and an increase in the number of freed blacks. Inspired by revolutionary ideals of the equality of men and their lesser economic reliance on it, northern states abolished slavery, although some had gradual emancipation schemes. States of the Upper South made manumission easier, resulting in an increase in the proportion of free blacks in the Upper South from less than one percent in 1792 to more than 10 percent by 1810.

15 By that date, a total of 13.5 percent of all blacks in the United States were free. After that date, with the demand for slaves on the rise with the development of the Deep South for cotton cultivation, the rate of manumissions declined sharply, and an internal slave trade became an important source of wealth for many planters and traders.

16 African American Vernacular English African American Vernacular English (AAVE) sometimes called Black Vernacular English (BVE)—is an African American variety (dialect, ethnolect and sociolect) of American English. The pronunciation is, in some respects, common to Southern American English, which is spoken by many African Americans and many non-African Americans in the United States. Several creolists, including William Stewart, John Dillard, and John Rickford, argue that AAVE shares so many characteristics with creole dialects spoken by black people in much of the world that AAVE itself is a creole.

17 One theory is that AAVE arose from one or more slave creoles that arose from the trans-Atlantic African slave trade and the need for African captives to communicate among themselves and with their captors. According to this theory, these captives developed what are called pidgins, simplified mixtures of two or more languages. As pidgins form from close contact between members of different language communities, the slave trade would have been exactly such a situation.

18 By the time of the American Revolution, varieties among slave creoles were not quite mutually intelligible. Example of AAVE,18th century: Kay, massa, you just leave me, me sit here, great fish jump up into da canoe, here he be, massa, fine fish, massa; me den very grad; den me sit very still, until another great fish jump into de canoe; but me fall asleep, massa, and no wake 'til you come…

19 Not until the time of the American Civil War did the language of the slaves become familiar to a large number of educated whites. Recently, Shana Poplack has provided corpus-based evidence from isolated enclaves in Samaná and Nova Scotia peopled by descendants of migrations of early AAVE-speaking groups (see Samaná English), that suggests that the grammar of early AAVE was closer to that of contemporary British dialects than modern urban AAVE is to current American dialects, suggesting that the modern language is a result of divergence from mainstream varieties, rather than the result of decreolization from a widespread American creole.

20 Dr. McWhorter characterized AAVE as a "hybrid of regional dialects of Great Britain that slaves in America were exposed to because they often worked alongside the indentured servants who spoke those dialects..." According to Dr. McWhorter, virtually all linguists who have carefully studied the origins of AAVE "agree that the West African connection is quite minor.”

21 AAVE has been the center of controversy about the education of African American youths, the role AAVE should play in public schools and education, and its place in broader society. Educators have held that attempts should be made to eliminate AAVE usage through the public education system. Criticism from social commentators and educators has ranged from asserting that AAVE is an intrinsically deficient form of speech to arguments that its use, by being considered unacceptable in most cultural contexts, is socially limiting.

22 In reality, the belief underlying the Oakland proposal was that black students would perform better in school and more easily learn standard American English if textbooks and teachers incorporated AAVE in teaching black children to speak Standard English rather than mistakenly equating nonstandard with substandard and dismissing AAVE as the latter. According to Smitherman, the controversy and debates concerning AAVE in public schools imply deeper deterministic attitudes towards the African-American community as a whole. Smitherman describes this as a reflection of the "power elite's perceived insignificance and hence rejection of Afro-American language and culture".

23 She also asserts that African Americans are forced to conform to European American society in order to succeed, and that conformity ultimately means the "eradication of black language... and the adoption of the linguistic norms of the white middle class." The necessity for "bi-dialectialism" (AAVE and SAE) means "some blacks contend that being bi- dialectal not only causes a schism in the black personality, but it also implies such dialects are 'good enough' for blacks but not for whites."

24 AAVE in Entertaiment & Literature The earliest depictions of black speech came from works written in the eighteenth century, primarily from white authors. A notable works includes Clotel, the first novel written by an African American, William Wells Brown. Alice Walker's epistolary novel The Color Purple is a much more widely known work written entirely in AAVE.

25 Some other notable works that have incorporated representations of black speech (with varying degrees of perceived authenticity) include the following: Edgar Allan Poe: "The Gold-Bug" (1843) Herman Melville: Moby-Dick (1851) Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom's Cabin (1851–1852) Joel Chandler Harris: Uncle Remus (1880) Mark Twain: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) Thomas Nelson Page: In Ole Virginia (1887) Thomas Dixon: The Clansman (1905) Margaret Mitchell: Gone With the Wind (1936) Zora Neale Hurston: Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) William Faulkner: Go Down, Moses (1942)

26 The musical genres of spiritual, blues, jazz, R & B, and most recently, hip-hop are all genres associated with African American music; as such, AAVE is featured in these musical forms. More recently, AAVE has been used heavily in hip-hop as an indicator of street cred. Examples of morphosyntactic AAVE features used by black hip-hop artists are given below:


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