The Anglicist Hypothesis (mid-twentieth century)

  • The Anglicist Hypothesis postulates a British ancestry for AAVE:

  • It states that AAVE, just like Anglo-American dialects, developed from the British dialects once brought by British settlers to North America. According to this hypothesis, AAVE is simply a dialect of English. The characteristic structural differences between AAVE and other varieties of American English are seen as the result of linguistic developments whereby AAVE preserved original British dialect features which, over time, were lost in the other Anglo-American English varieties.

(Information adapted from Sebba, 1997)