University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


This paper examines a group of white speakers in South Philadelphia who exhibit appropriation of African American Vernacular English /TH/-fronting. Speakers with the most antagonistic contact and most aggressive attitudes toward their African American neighbors show the highest rates of /TH/-fronting. This paper argues that appropriation of the African American Vernacular English (AAVE) ethnolect feature of /TH/-fronting has been reanalyzed as a marker of street smarts rather than as a marker of speakers’ affiliations with AAVE speakers.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.