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RaciolinguisticsHow Language Shapes Our Ideas About Race$
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H. Samy Alim, John R. Rickford, and Arnetha F. Ball

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190625696

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190625696.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2021

Stance as a Window into the Language-Race Connection

Stance as a Window into the Language-Race Connection

Evidence from African American and White Speakers in Washington, DC

Chapter:
(p.203) 11 Stance as a Window into the Language-Race Connection
Source:
Raciolinguistics
Author(s):

Robert J. Podesva

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190625696.003.0012

This chapter examines how two linguistic features commonly associated with African American English enable speakers to take stances about race. The analysis is based on the use of (-t/d) deletion and falsetto in sociolinguistic interviews with residents of Washington, DC. While broad distributional analyses reveal that African American speakers produce both features more frequently than white speakers, the explanation for this pattern can only be found by attending to the interactional moments when speakers use these features the most. For example, an African American woman uses her highest rates of (-t/d) deletion when talking about gentrification, as opposed to other topics that she does not characterize in racial terms. Similarly, African American women generally produce their phonetically strongest instantiations of falsetto when negatively evaluating gentrification and racism. I conclude by underscoring the importance of viewing components of ethnolinguistic repertoires as resources for taking stances about race and racially charged issues.

Keywords:   stance, race, (-t/d) deletion, falsetto, African American English, style, gentrification, Washington, DC

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