According to the passage, African languages had a notable influence on

Lizzie-Annerino on June 8, 2019

Why not B?

I selected B for this question and was fairly confident that was the answer. I'm just wondering what the logic is behind the correct answer so I can see where I'm going wrong.

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Victoria on June 8, 2019

Hello @Lizzie-Annerino,

Answer choice B reads: "the folk art of colonists in New England." The sole mention of folk artists in the passage states: "the aesthetic principles of the African oral tradition were preserved in America by folk artists in work songs, dancing, field hollers, religious music, the use of the drum, and, after the drum was forbidden, in the perpetuation of drum effects in song" (Lines 14 to 19).

From the above excerpt, we can see that answer choice B is incorrect for several reasons. Firstly, this excerpt attributes influence to "the aesthetic principles of the African oral tradition" as opposed to African languages themselves. Secondly, this excerpt is discussing music, not art in general. Finally, the passage does not mention New England colonists nor do they have the capacity to preserve a tradition that was not theirs to begin with. These aesthetic principles were preserved by African Americans themselves, not co-opted and then preserved by the colonists of New England.

Answer choice D is supported by lines 20 to 24 which state: "African languages and the functions of language in African societies not only contributed to the emergence of a distinctive Black English but also exerted demonstrable effects on the manner in which other Americans spoke English." We can see that this is the correct answer as it states that African languages - the focus of the question stem - influenced the speech patterns of both African Americans and other Americans.

Hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any further questions.