A few weeks ago I was looking at Wikipedia’s list of cognitive biases (one of the more interesting things to read about on Wikipedia. Another is the list of common misconceptions). Yesterday I was thinking about rap. Specifically, the rhyming reminded me of the rhyme-as-reason effect I’d read about, and gave rise to a humorous theory.
African American Vernacular English (Wikipedia tells me that’s probably the right thing to call it) has been around a long time, and has of course evolved over time. Rap has also been around a long time, but much of modern rap (of at least the last fifteen years or so) seems to have a symbiotic relationship with AAVE. Given this, it would seem likely that rap, with its necessity of rhyme, might slant the evolution of AAVE toward the adoption of more rhyming words. And taken to its extreme conclusion, that would lead one to expect AAVE to eventually become a dialect in which virtually every possible phrase rhymes. Which, considering the rhyme-as-reason effect, would mean anything spoken in AAVE would sound more true.