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Title: Phonological and Phonetic Characteristics of African American Vernacular English
Author(s): Erik R. Thomas
Journal Title: Language & Linguistics Compass
Volume: 1
Issue: 5
Page Range: 450-475
Publication Date: Sep-2007
Abstract: The numerous controversies surrounding African American Vernacular English can be illuminated by data from phonological and phonetic variables. However, what is known about different variables varies greatly, with consonantal variables receiving the most scholarly attention, followed by vowel quality, prosody, and finally voice quality. Variables within each domain are discussed here and what has been learned about their realizations in African American speech is compiled. The degree of variation of each variable within African American speech is also summarized when it is known. Areas for which more work is needed are noted.

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Focus Questions   by Compass Editorial , 7-Jul-11
Dear Readers,

Please find below some focus questions submitted by the author Erik Thomas. These questions are related to issues raised in the article.We hope one of them will peak your interest!

Best wishes, Compass Editorial

1. What phonological and phonetic evidence provides information relevant to the creolist/Anglicist controversy?

2. What phonological and phonetic evidence provides information relevant to the divergence/convergence controversy?

3. What phonological and phonetic evidence provides information relevant to the uniformity controversy?

4. How have migration patterns shaped the pronunciation of African American English?

5. How has the traditional focus on consonantal variation shaped our view of AAE, and how might analysis of vowels and prosody change that view?

6. Why does AAE need to be approached differently in the South than in cities outside the South?
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