Why do Black People Speak with an Accent?

I've always wondered why African Americans (or Black people - whichever you guys prefer) speak with an accent? Every single black person that I have ever spoken to has had the same accent. Why is this? I find it to be very interesting! What do you guys think?


0|0
2|5

Most Helpful Guy

  • You mean like Ebonics? I don't think they realize it but your right it's there with most, my guess is it's the ones that are brought up in mostly black neighborhoods and have there own way of talking, just like white people down south have an accent, I'm around both races all the time and am white but see both spectrums since I'm married to a black women

    1|0
    0|0

What Guys Said 4

  • Oooh... as a linguist I would like to point out that there's already a huge flaw in your question. So let's make this clear first: EVERYONE has an accent. Just because you don't hear your own accent doesn't mean you don't have one. If you assume that (certain) other people have an accent but you don't, your implying that you are the norm. which of course is not true. There is no norm. Contrary to what @StickStickity13 claims, there is no "good" or "bad" English. There is no "right" or "wrong" English. People who claim this are called prescriptivists. They want to prescribe other people how to speak (or more bluntly speaking: they want to shove their own way of speaking down other people's throats). This was very popular in the 18th and 19th century but modern science has long since turned its back on this. Modern science does what we call being "descriptive". This means we are observing what is out there and describing the different linguistic "varieties" as we call them. This happens WITHOUT any presuppositions or prejudices, completely neutral and objective.
    Ebonics (sometimes also referred to as AAVE (African American Vernacular English) or AAV) is what we call a sociolect. Just like there are dialects (geographical varieties), there are also sociolects (and there is also the Individualect, the individual way a particular person speaks). A sociolect is a linguistic variety that is based on social factors. One important social factor is the social class of a particular speaker. But there are other factors, such as age, sex, gender, profession, level of education, peers, life experience, ethnicity etc.. To give you a some examples: Cockney is a very famous sociolect from England. It is the typical way the working class in the metropolitan area of London speaks. Their are also class-based sociolects in the US, such as the Boston-sociolect. This one refers to how the allumnis of the famous Ivy League schools such as Harvard or Yale speak.
    Ebonics or AAVE is partially class-based but it is also heavily ethnicity-based. How it came into existence is still a matter of research. What we know so far is that Ebonics used to be a so-called creole-language. A creole-language is a mix of two languages, whereas the grammar is typically taken from the culturally weaker language and the vocabulary from the culturally dominant language (this is a very simplified explanation). Ebonics is by far not the only example for this. Think of the Danish invasion of Great Britain

    0|0
    0|0
    • English is English, if you're not following the rules you may as well create a new language. Languages have rules.

    • Show All
    • So you're saying I can twist English in any way I want, and it's okay? I can make up words and people will understand? Ebonics isn't true English, it's a different dialect that not everyone can understand especially someone who learned English as a second language

    • Look, I'm not going to argue with you about scientific facts that I most likely know more about than you. I did learn English as a third language and I can understand Ebonics. Obviously you can't just sit down and make up random words by yourself and if you think that is what black people did, than you're just being racist (and there's your straw man dying away). Just because YOU can't understand Ebonics doesn't mean it's something of less quality or value. The Ebonic words and grammatical structures all have their linguistic origins (just like in any other sociolect or dialect), they didn't just appear out of the blue. As I already said, black people can express themselves with the same accuracy and efficiency as white (or any other) Americans can. AAVE is just as "true" (a word that experts would never actually use) English as New York Jewish English or Kansas white English or Cockney or Manchester English or Scots English or Australian or South African or Singapore English.

  • Everybody speaks with an accent depends where they grew up

    0|0
    0|0
  • It took me forever to understand ebonics since it's not proper English

    0|0
    1|1
  • Because of segregation

    1|0
    0|0

What Girls Said 2

  • depends on where you live, really... my husband is black and doesn't have any accent.

    0|0
    0|0
  • it depend on where you live not on your race.

    0|0
    0|0
Loading...