ERIC Number: ED028423
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968
Reference Count: 0
A Study of the Non-Standard English of Negro and Puerto Rican Speakers in New York City. Volume I: Phonological and Grammatical Analysis.
Labov, William; And Others
This study investigates the structural and functional differences between the non-standard Negro English of northern ghetto areas (NNE) and standard English (SE). The major field work was done in Central Harlem with (1) a geographically random sample of 50 pre-adolescent speakers in Vacation Day Camps, (2) six pre-adolescent and adolescent peer groups in Harlem, studied in individual interviews and group sessions, and (3) a random sample of 100 adults, in a middle-class area and two working-class areas. The linguistic analysis in this volume shows NNE related to SE by differences in low-level rules which have marked effects on surface structure. The -ed suffix, for example, is affected by rules of consonant cluster simplification; systematic variation of such clusters regularly differentiates past tense clusters from stem clusters, and also registers the strong effect of a following vowel in preserving the cluster. NNE is found to have no third singular -s or possessive suffix, but to have an intact plural -s. The absence of the copula is considered the result of regular phonological rules which remove single consonants remaining after contraction. A NNE negative concord rule distributes the underlying negative particle more consistently and to a wider range of environments than in white non-standard English. Repetition tests showed that many NNE speakers understand both NNE and SE forms but produce NNE forms. See AL 001 822 for Volume II. (Author/JD)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Adults, Age Groups, Black Culture, Black Dialects, Contrastive Linguistics, Culture Conflict, Generative Grammar, Grammar, Individual Characteristics, Language Research, Language Styles, Middle Class Culture, Negative Forms (Language), North American English, Peer Groups, Phonology, Plurals, Reading Failure, Rural Urban Differences, Social Differences, Social Values, Sociolinguistics, Speech, Syntax, TENL, Urban Youth, Verbal Ability
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY.
Identifiers: New York (Harlem); New York (New York)