Since the day our country was formed, words from every conceivable language have been adopted into our vernacular of language that is uniquely American. Of note, are slang expressions which originated from our African American community. Words such as: “crib”, which mean home, and “phat”, which means “great”, are just two examples of a growing repetoire of regional idioms which have become typical words of our english language. Started in African American communities, these words have also become synonymous with German, French, Indian, Japanese, Chinese words integrated into what is now part of our American culture.
What of these words that originate from inner city America? Are they a language or a dialect, what changes take place as they are incorporated into our English language, and should socio-cultural vernacular such as African American slang be incorporated into our language or set aside as a separate language called “Ebonics“?
Some words must be integrated into a cultural language as a general form of assimilation as a matter of the evolutionary growth of a language. These words become almost icons of a particular time or generation that comes of age within a specific society used to convey thoughts and or describe emotions or opinions. This “codified” resolution of nouns, verbs or adjectives are often different from accepted forms of language, often utilized in social situations. “The rapid decline is largely due to economic and political pressures on minority communities which remove the new generation’s motivation for sticking to their traditional language. The languages are not inherently deficient in any way. The situation is a global tragedy in the classical Greek mould, for the demise of native languages is an unintended byproduct of external forces that the participants cannot control. No one actively wants these thousands of languages to die. Yet they seem fated to die.” It is difficult for people from other countries to learn our language, which could attest to the fact that many immigrants to the U.S. today tend to migrate to micro-communities made up of people who speak their native language such as Germonics or Russionics.
>>More to come…