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Therefore, the conjugations of some verbs in English from West African
syntax, tend to be in the universal, rather than in the specific case. For
example, "is" denotes a state of being; in West African language, the word
would be used to denote the fact that we always exist (while we're alive),
so gender/individual cases utilize the same universal as do plural cases.
For example, it becomes "he is, you is, we is" etc....as it
translates into English use. It is a fascinating study in the way one's
primary language from slavery was adapted into the dominant culture's
language, without ever fully assimilating.
Concomitantly, Audrey compared the syntax of West African languages to
that of other countries and found that Icelandic was the closest. In terms
of her in-service that I attended, she will have to tell you more.
Cultural competency for bi-cultural/bi-lingual people means that we
understand how to operate from one system to another; just like our
"culture" at home is different from our "culture" at school, work, or in
company of friends. We all translate norms and standards from one
situation and another. Why does doing the same thing with language pose
such a problem for people? The research is pretty clear - bi-lingual
students cannot master "standard English" without being literate in their
But debating the point obsfucates where this message comes
from. Ebonics is not "garbage" and if we, as "educators" use this
kind of "language" to "educate" each other, all we get is "trash."
On Sun, 23 Mar 1997, Griswold, Charlotte wrote:
> Like Rosa, I too have been wondering about the Ebonics-Icelandic link
> and would like more information.
> Charlotte Griswold
> Art Happens!