Linguistics Colloquium: On constructing regional and racial identity: Investigating stylistic variation in Rochester, New York

  • Starts: 5:30 pm on Thursday, December 6, 2018
  • Ends: 6:45 pm on Thursday, December 6, 2018

Recent explorations of regional variation across African American speech communities have brought to the forefront the linguistic heterogeneity across African American English (AAE). As sociolinguists have problematized the presentation of AAE as a uniform variety, intra-group analyses highlight the diverse social and linguistic constructions among African American speakers. In this talk, I zoom in on three personae local to the African American community in Rochester, New York, assessing how each style is linguistically constructed. I investigate how the three personae, The Mobile Professional, The Hood Kid, and The Biker recruit or reject vocalic patterns of the Northern Cities Shift, as well as AA(V)E morphosyntactic patterns in the construction of their identities. The findings challenge how we define the dialect, while also complicating our understanding of the relationship between race and language.

Co-Sponsored by the BU Center for the Humanities

Sharese King, University of Chicago
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CILSE - 610 Commonwealth Avenue
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CAS Linguistics Department
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Carol Neidle
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