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ERIC Number: ED028423
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968
Pages: 397
Abstractor: N/A
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)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: 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)