A Cross Regional Study of Locative to in North Carolina

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Title: A Cross Regional Study of Locative to in North Carolina
Author: Vadnais, Janelle Chaundre
Advisors: Walt Wolfram, Committee Chair
Agnes Bolonyai, Committee Member
Erik Thomas, Committee Member
Abstract: This study compares the use of static locative to in the speech of African Americans and European Americans in various regional communities throughout Eastern North Carolina. These communities are located on Roanoke Island, in Hyde County, Harkers Island, Ocracoke Island, Princeville and in Robeson County, North Carolina. Quantitative examination of locative to reveals a marked pattern of ethnolinguistic alignment related to integration patterns. In Hyde County and Roanoke Island, the use of locative to is sharply reduced in the speech of African Americans who first attended integrated schools. However, in Ocracoke, the decreasing use of locative to is gradual across time, marking the role of an active social variable in the divergence of African American speech after integration. By comparing all of these communities, I seek to explain why there is this ethnolinguistic patterning and what social factors have contributed to it. Additionally, I uncover what this language pattern says about the history of race relations on a regional level in North Carolina and what happens to this language feature over time.
Date: 2006-05-08
Degree: MA
Discipline: English
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1431

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