If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It: Toward a Policy of Full Recognition of African American Language

  • Charles DeBose


Material reviewed in Chapter One strongly supports the conclusion that there is nothing wrong with African American language – at least from the visionary perspective of linguistic theory. It is a dialect, equal in status to other dialects of American English. It has a grammar. In short, it is an instance of normal language that came into being through normal processes of language change. For all those reasons, and more, there is nothing wrong with it. The “clean bill of health” that Black language receives from the current state of linguistic knowledge supports a policy of leaving it alone.


Policy Option Policy Orientation African Descent Linguistic Knowledge Full Recognition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Charles E. DeBose 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles DeBose
    • 1
  1. 1.California State UniversityUSA

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