A Marshland of Ethnolinguistic Boundaries: Conflicting Past and Present BE Paradigms in Coastal Carolina Speech.

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Title: A Marshland of Ethnolinguistic Boundaries: Conflicting Past and Present BE Paradigms in Coastal Carolina Speech.
Author: Green, Elaine Weslee
Advisors: Walt Wolfram, Chair
Erik Thomas, Member
David Herman, Member
Abstract: This thesis investigates the extent to which localized contact situations figure in the early development of African-American speech. Because many African American varieties of English have their roots in the rural Southern United States, evidence from the longstanding, bi-racial insular contact situation in Hyde County, North Carolina, provides a valuable opportunity to shed light on the earlier development of African-American speech. This thesis focuses on the morphosyntactic features of past tense BE and copula absence as two variables diagnostic in situating ethnolinguistic alignment for this African-American community. The analysis examines speech samples for 32 Anglo-American and African-American Hyde County speakers that show disparate patterns of ethnolinguistic alignment. I hypothesize that this mixed alignment patterning is attributable to the long-term effects of ethnic boundaries within a broader context of localized coastal identity. At the same time, I also hypothesize that AAVE in Hyde County is moving away from that local dialect identity towards a more uniform AAVE norm as part of the larger cultural reorientation of African American identity that evolved coterminous with the Civil Rights movement and school desegregation.
Date: 1998-11-09
Degree: MA
Discipline: English
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1993


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