"The claim that Ebonics, or Spoken Soul, has no grammar is as bogus as the claim that it has no dictionary. If this is taken to mean, as it often is, that African American vernacular is unsystematic, without rules or regularities, then it is blatantly false ..." (Spoken Soul, p.109).
Here are examples of sentences in African American Vernacular English (AAVE) which the Rickfords cite and explain grammatically in Spoken Soul.
1. AAVE speakers sometimes ditch the plural s, and mark plurality with an dem instead. Example: John an dem for "John and his friends."
2. Instead of "there is" or "there are," the AAVE user may say it's or i's. Example: I's a lot of girls for "There are a lot of girls."
3. The AAVE user may choose not to use third-person singular present-tense s. Example: I believe she do for "I believe she does."
4. AAVE users loooovvveee that be. Examples: Wait awhile. She be right around. And she don't be listening. So I be like .... [I don't think I need to be citing the Standard here. You get it, don't you?]
5. Sometimes AAVE users omit "is" or "are." Example: People crazy! for "People are crazy."
There's an entire chapter dedicated to explaining/legitimizing the grammar of African American Vernacular English in Spoken Soul. I had some fun reading it, but if I ketch any one of my students writing that way, he or she gon get a straight up F. Here's why. As much as I enjoy the beauty of colloquialism in my students' speech, I strongly believe until a student can prove to me that he or she knows the standard, then all vernacular should be just that, spoken and left completely out of their writing. At least in my class.
If you don't know the standard, how would you know where the colloquial language dips away from, jabs at, winks at, mocks, soars above, SIGNIFIES the standard? And yes, this knowledge is important in order to fully understand and fully appreciate any colloquial language, as the Rickfords go to great lengths to show in Spoken Soul.