In many ways phonology is the neglected stepchild of research on African-American vernacular English (AAVE). Even the most cursory review of the literature will show that morphology and syntax have long been the primary focus of work on AAVE. Two factors seem to account for the focus on morphology and syntax: the most distinctive features of AAVE, at least at first glance, are grammatical and the issues that have driven research on AAVE have hinged primarily on arguments about grammatical features. In fact, during the late 1960s and early 1970s linguists saw the phonological differences between AAVE and white varieties of English as crucial to the reading difficulties and standardized test biases faced by African-American children. Although phonology is the subsystem of AAVE that has received the least amount of attention, it is clearly not the least important.