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Re: USAGE: AAVE/Spanish pidgin?

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Monday, May 9, 2005, 23:51
Paul Bennett wrote:

> I walked out to the mailbox a while ago, and there were a bunch of black > and hispanic kids (all maybe between 5 and 10 years old) running around, > playing and yelling in the parking lot, as kids are wont to do. I thought > nothing of it at first, until I listened. They were yelling to eachother > in what to my ear sounded like a mixture of AAVE and Spanish. Now, > obviously, this is the stuff that pidgins are made of, but before I try > sneaking around outside trying to build a grammar for this new language > (arguably even a conlang!), I have to ask whether there's any organisation > or spread of this phenomenon, or whether it's entirely sporadic and > isolated.
Offhand, and given the ages, I'd suspect it could be just local usages by this particular group of kids. Especially since the black kids were apparently using Spanish words. I'm sure similar things must develop independently in many neighborhoods. However, there is such a thing as "Spanglish" (decried by Spanish purists, needless to say) that involves mixing Engl. vocab and Span. grammar, but I don't know if there are any fixed rules as to when and which words get used-- i.e. one might use "phone" on one occasion but "teléfono" on another. (I suspect it's random, and depends on how much Engl. the conversants actually know.) A similar phenomenon can be seen in many areas of the world, where use of Engl. confers a certain prestige. Indonesians are among the offenders. Our "kursus upgrading" students made a trip to Bali, and as the bus was about to head home from Denpasar, the leader had the driver stop at the main drag, and he asked "Siapa mau shopping lagi?" (who wants to do more shopping?). Given the context (everyone was pretty fluent in Engl.) it was probably meant humorously, but without a moment's hesitation they all went charging off down the street. :-)))