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ERIC Number: ED061199
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1969
Pages: 324
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Linguistic Correlates of Social Stratification in the Speech of Detroit Negroes.
Wolfram, Walter Andrew
The sociolinguistic variation of speech among Detroit Negroes is described. The analysis is based on the speech of 48 Negro informants, evenly distributed in four social classes. In addition, 12 upper-middle class whites are included. The social variables investigated in relation to speech differences are class, style, sex, age, and racial isolation. The relevant social and historical context of the Detroit Negro is described as a basis for understanding linguistic diversity. The linguistic context is set for investigating speech variation. The linguistic variable, an abstraction which is realized in speech by linguistic variants, serves as a basis for correlating social factors with linguistic variation. Four phonological variables are analyzed, including word-final consonant clusters, morpheme-medial and final "O," syllable final "d," and postvocalic "r". The grammatical variables, suffixal "-Z," multiple negation, copula absence, and invariant "be" are discussed. The relative influence of each of the social variables is summarized in the conclusion. Social class is the single most important factor accounting for speech differences. A pattern of sex differentiation is also noted in which females approximate the standard English norm more closely than males. It is concluded that an adequate understanding of sociolinguistic variation must include a description of the effects of independent linguistic constraints on variability. (Author/CK)
University Microfilms, A Xerox Company, Dissertation Copies Post Office Box 1764, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106 (Order No. 70-7915; MF $4.00, Xerography $10.00)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan; Michigan (Detroit)