Structure dataset 14: African American English

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 14.

African American English is spoken by some, not all, African Americans in the United States, as well as by some non-African Americans who have close contact with African American English-speaking communities. The many speakers who use the variety are on a continuum ranging from those for who use it as their native variety to those who use a limited subset of African American English patterns in limited contexts. The grammatical patterns of African American English are uniform across African American English-speaking communities; however, there may be regional variation across varieties, especially in the sound patterns. African American English, an oral variety, is commonly studied such that descriptions of patterns and constructions associated with it have been described although there are no formal grammars or conventions for representing or writing the variety. The default lect represented in APiCS is based on data from adolescents and adult speakers in an African American English-speaking community in southwestern Louisiana. Some examples were also taken from published works on African American English if they were used by speakers in the Louisiana community.

Glossed text (52.4KB, application/pdf)
No. Feature Value Details Source
No. Feature Value Details Source


Pulmonic Consonants
Place → Labial Coronal Dorsal Laryngeal
↓ Manner Bilabial Labio­dental Linguo­labial Dental Alveolar Palato-
Retroflex Alveolo-
Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal
/ Epiglottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Stop p  b t  d k  g ʔ
Sibilant affricate t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s z ʃ ʒ
Non-sibilant fricative f v θ ð h
Approximant ɹ l j
Flap or tap ɾ
Lateral affricate
Lateral fricative
Lateral approximant
Lateral flap


Front Near-front Central Near-back Back Close Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open ihigh front unrounded vowel long high front unrounded vowel nasalized high front unrounded vowel ɨhigh central unrounded vowel uhigh back rounded vowel long high back rounded vowel nasalized high back rounded vowel ɪlowered high front unrounded vowel ʊlowered high back rounded vowel ehigher mid front unrounded vowel long higher mid front unrounded vowel nasalized higher mid front unrounded vowel ohigher mid back rounded vowel long higher mid back rounded vowel nasalized higher mid back rounded vowel əmid central unrounded vowel ɛlower mid front unrounded vowel ɛːlong lower mid front unrounded vowel ɛ̃nasalized lower mid front unrounded vowel ɔlower mid back rounded vowel ɔːlong lower mid back rounded vowel ɔ̃nasalized lower mid back rounded vowel æraised low front unrounded vowel æːlong raised low front unrounded vowel ɑlow back unrounded vowel ɑːlong low back unrounded vowel

Special segments

Other segments
 w  voiced labial-velar glide


       Exists (as a major allophone)
       Exists only as a minor allophone
       Exists only in loanwords
No. Feature Value Details Source