ERIC Number: ED033356
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Black/White Speech Differences Revisited: A Preliminary Report.
There are two positions on the relationship of the speech of Blacks and whites, and they are quite opposed to one another. One position observes virtually no differences in the speech of Southern whites and Blacks and therefore assumes that the historical development can be traced to a British dialect. The other sees many significant differences and therefore assumes that Black dialect is derived from a creole-based system more like the Caribbean creoles than it is like a British dialect. In order to resolve some of the issues at the heart of this controversy, Wolfram, Shuy, and Fasold have begun extracting data from 50 lower socio-economic class children (Black and white) between the ages of six and eight. This specific age range was chosen to represent a period when the children would be past the developmental stage but at an age when the awareness of the social consequences of speech would be minimal. The age is also crucial because both Stewart and Dillard maintain that only among children do certain creole-like features exist. Analysis of the third person singular, possessives, copula absence, invariant "be," and word-final consonant clusters lead the author to conclude that there are definite Black/white speech differences that can not be dismissed as "statistical skewing": some are qualitative. However, the extent of these differences is not nearly as great as is sometimes claimed; they differ in surface rather than deep structure. (DO)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. Sociolinguistics Program.