Prof. Edwards interviewed by Michigan Radio on AAVE
During the Black History Month, Prof. Walter Edwards, our sociolinguist who is the director of the Humanities Center at Wayne and studies and teaches about AAVE (African American Vernacular English, LIN/ENG 7720: Advanced Studies in Language Structure: AAVE history and structure) was interviewed by Michigan Radio on Feb. 22, 2022. Prof. Edwards gave a compelling and powerful interview. “AAVE is not broken English”, said Prof. Edward.
A Guyana native, growing up speaking Guyanese Creole, Prof. Edwards studied linguistics in Guyana and the U.K. He moved to Michigan in 1980 and started doing research on AAVE, with an NSF grant in 1989. Prof. Edwards argues that, stigmatized as it is, AAVE is as sophisticated and diversified as any other linguistic variety; it's a testament to the "achievements of the Black people". He concludes “In Black History Month, we should be celebrating the very creative work that enslaved people in this country did in devising, in synthesizing, in bringing together the linguistic substances, the linguistic varieties that they encountered in this very hostile environment and sort of fashioning them into a new language”. Click here to listen to the recording of Prof. Edwards’ interview. If you are interested in knowing more about sociolinguistics, AAVE, and creole, why not sit in Prof. Edwards' regularly taught classes that include LIN 5770: Sociolinguistics, LIN 7720: Advanced Studies in Language Use: pidgins and creoles, AAVE, and American dialects.