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African American Vernacular English —also called African American English ; less precisely Black English, Black Vernacular, Black English Vernacular , or Black Vernacular English ,—is a variety of American English, culturally spoken by urban working-class African Americans and largely bi-dialectal middle-class African Americans. Non-linguists sometimes call it Ebonics, a term that also has other meanings and connotations.

African American Vernacular English
African American English
Region United States
Ethnicity African Americans
Latin (English alphabet)
American Braille
Language codes
ISO 639-3

African American Vernacular English (AAVE)—also called African American English (AAE); less precisely Black English, Black Vernacular, Black English Vernacular (BEV), or Black Vernacular English (BVE),—is a variety (dialect, ethnolect and sociolect) of American English, culturally spoken by urban working-class African Americans and largely bi-dialectal middle-class African Americans. Non-linguists sometimes call it Ebonics, a term that also has other meanings and connotations.

It shares a large portion of its grammar and phonology with the rural dialects of the Southern United States. Several creolists, including William Stewart, John Dillard and John Rickford, argue that AAVE shares enough characteristics with African Creole languages spoken around the world that AAVE itself may be an English-based creole language separate from English; however, mainstream linguists maintain that there are no significant parallels, and that AAVE is, in fact, a demonstrable variety of the English language, having features that can be traced back mostly to the nonstandard British English of early settlers in the American South.

As with all linguistic forms, its usage is influenced by age, status, topic and setting. There are many literary uses of AAVE, particularly in African-American literature.