I was reading from several sources of the linguistic status of Ebonics. Most of them say that it is simply "corrupted English", and that it is merely "slang".
I personally disagree. I think it should be recognized as a legitimate dialect of the English language, since you can't just start speaking it without having to learn it. There is an actual disctinct grammar, and it has real patterns. If Cockney is officially considered an English dialect, why can't Ebonics?
I completely agree with you there.
Afro-American Vernacular English (i.e. Ebonics) IS a dialect of English. As far as I know, it's a mixture of African languages, English spoken by black slaves and white southern varieties of American English. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) From a linguistical point of view, it is nonsensical and narrow-minded to describe it as "corrupted" or "lazy".
However, AAVE is heavily stigmatised because it has non-standard grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. Moreover, a social stigma is attached to it, since it is spoken by mostly uneducated poor black people in the so-called ghettoes.
Although I don't live in the States, I have read/heard that teachers often can't cope with children who speak in this dialect. Most teachers are underqualified in terms of social issues and dialects, and that's the reason why they don't understand the verbal or non-verbal signals of these black children. Therefore, AAVE is not welcomed in schools, but there are lots of people who can't speak a more or less standard variety which is intelligible for the whites as well.
Despite the stigma and prejudice attached to the AAVE, this variety is getting sort of popular due to hip-hop/rap culture. (Rap songs are obviously the most authentic source of AAVE.) Some Europeans youngsters therefore have a misconception that AAVE is identical with GAE. Unbelievable, but true.
As far as Cockney is concerned...Yes, it is considered to be a British dialect. BUT: It is heavily stigmatised, just like AAVE, having non-standard grammar and pronunciation and vocabulary. Some people are code-switchers (from Cockney to a more or less standard variety in formal situations), but the overwhelming majority can't do that (being relatively uneducated). This is a problem in educational institutions, since the use of "aint" and multiple negative is not tolerated everywhere.
However, Cockney is gaining, well, if not prestige but popularity in Britain. Just think of the revival of Cockney Rhyming Slang or the growing prevalence of Estuary English (which is a "handshake" between Cockney and RP).
<<From a linguistical point of view>>
Well, that should rather be "linguistic".
<<some Europeans youngsters>>
Should be "some European youngsters".
And I could go on and on correcting myself, ad infinitum. Lots of awkwardly formulated sentences, as per usual. :-(
Hehe. Thanks for the input, Liz.