"Is you is, or is you ain't"

Diego   Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:18 am GMT
What's the grammatical explanation of this sentence, I recently hear from an old jazz song? It confused me.

Is it slang? dialect?
ben   Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:15 am GMT
It's supposed to be African American Vernacular English (AAVE).

In AAVE, 'is' often takes the place of "are" ("Is you going?" "Is you there?"), but the construction "is you IS (my baby)?" seems a bit odd to me. A simple "is you or is you ain't my baby?" seems more logical. Perhaps the extra "is" is added for emphasis or is simply an over-exaggeration of African American speech.

Diego   Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:33 am GMT
ben learn what you are talking about before replying please. I do not want to waste time on foolish people like you.
Obviously   Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:28 pm GMT
The "ben learn" message was written by the usual little hoaxer, not by Diego.
Obviously....   Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:45 pm GMT
....I am a faggot.
Skippy   Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:12 am GMT
It's also a line from O Brother Where Art Thou? "Is you is, or is you ain't my constituency?"