cover of book

African American English Speakers and Their Participation in Local Sound Changes: A Comparative Study, Volume 84
by Erik R. Thomas and Malcah Yaeger-Dror
Duke University Press
Cloth: 978-0-8223-6732-1

This volume examines variation in vowel configurations in African American English as spoken by members of seven U.S. communities, including Roanoke Island, North Carolina; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and several parishes in rural Louisiana. The contributors argue that African American English exhibits considerable diversity, disproving the commonly held view that it is a uniform national dialect. Although some features of African American English are universal, others vary by region. In each community, African Americans adopted variants from local vernaculars. The study finds the most assimilation in the oldest communities in the rural South, where multiple races have lived together for centuries.
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