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Saturday, October 12 • 9:20am - 9:45am
Jones: Regional variation in the vocalic system of African American English: Different than White English, and patterns with the Great Migration

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Regional variation in the vocalic system of African American English: Different than White English, and patterns with the Great Migration

While African American English (AAE) is one of the most studied language varieties in sociolinguistics, until now there has never been a complete, national-level picture of regional variation in AAE comparable to the Atlas of North American English (ANAE). In this talk, I present the results of a nationally-representative survey of AAE-speakers vowel spaces, based on participation in an online survey and reading passage. 209 participants completed a demographic questionnaire and read a new passage, “Junebug Goes to the Barber,” designed specifically to elicit naturalistic AAE speech. I demonstrate that regional vocalic variation in AAE does not pattern with that of white Englishes, and that it patterns instead with pathways of the Great Migration. I also show that AAE cannot be characterized as having a single vowel system, and that the proposed African American Vowel Shift (AAVS) is characteristic of only one region of a handful.

Speakers
TJ

Taylor Jones

University of Pennsylvania


Saturday October 12, 2019 9:20am - 9:45am
EMU Crater Lake N
  • Session type Talk
  • Chair: Paul Reed


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