I wonder whether I can find a work of literature in AAE somewhere? I mean not citations of conversations or songs etc, but a full-fledged story or novel or technical text.

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    Most of us probably haven't heard of "AAE" Oct 9, 2012 at 20:53
  • Anixx, what is a "s literay work"?
    – user19148
    Oct 9, 2012 at 20:54
  • @NewAlexandria catdir.loc.gov/catdir/samples/cam034/2003268698.pdf
    – Anixx
    Oct 9, 2012 at 21:02
  • If you are looking for works using today's vernacular, a problem is going to be that anything published more recently than 1923 will still be under copyright and therefore unlikely to have been made legally available on the internet. Oct 9, 2012 at 22:20

1 Answer 1


Similar to how there are no online indicies for literary works written in cockney, 'appalachian' dialect, or even the Southern USA dialect, probably none exist for African American Vernacular English.

I welcome answers to this question that show otherwise.

Generally, dialect speakers understand the written form of the language they speak - as such, they read and write in the language to the best of their education.

Printed forms of a speech dialect will most likely occur in character works. These work will construct the written words as close as possible to the person's rendering of the dialect.

For online repositories that contain this info, look to the academic research databases that publish linguistic and anthropological articles on the topic of AAVE, which would include interviews and character studies with dialect speakers.

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    I'm tempted to downvote this, because of the third paragraph ("Generally, dialect speakers understand the written form of the language they speak - as such, they read and write in the language to the best of their education"), which seems to take the view that whereas AAVE is a "dialect", Standard English is a "language". This is nonsense. AAVE and Standard English are both dialects of English.
    – ruakh
    Oct 9, 2012 at 21:48
  • @ruakh you state exactly what I meant. They are all using the same language, even considering the extremely-minor spelling differences that exist between US and British English. Oct 9, 2012 at 22:21
  • May I suggest that you make this meaning clear to hasty readers who do not trouble to read the Comments by changing written form to written dialect? (I'd save you the trouble, but I always feel awkward about editing any copy except that which is clearly a learner's!) Oct 9, 2012 at 22:31
  • @StoneyB no, I think this would only further confuse the issue regarding 'standard=institutional' and imply muckraking on the legitimization non-institutional dialects. I think the issue commonly not handled is that of scale and context. American English is a dialect only in relation to Global English Usage. Within the US, American English is not a "dialect" but rather just the 'language' - meaning the reference usage for dialects. Compare with Basque/Aragonne/Castellano, and Occitan/French, which are not dialect comparisons. Oct 10, 2012 at 13:22
  • Without getting into the vexed question of what's a language and what's a dialect, the written form of any language is certainly a dialect (or several). Written US English has far more in common with Written UK English than either has with its respective regional dialects. Oct 10, 2012 at 13:32

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