•  
  •  
 

University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics

Authors

Sharese King

Abstract

This paper investigates the linguistic construction of ethnic and regional identities through the use of a local feature, BAT retraction and lowering (D’Onofrio 2015, Kennedy and Grama 2012, Podesva, D’Onofrio, Van Hofwegen and Kim 2015). Analysis of the speech of twelve African Americans from Bakersfield, California, shows an apparent change over time, such that younger African Americans produce backer tokens. Additionally, a targeted analysis of a single speaker suggests that African Americans’ degree of retraction can index local-based stances and affiliations. Because of BAT retraction’s indexing of coastal urban identity (Kennedy and Grama 2012) and the valley girl character-type (D’Onofrio 2015), the recruitment of this linguistic resource among African Americans opens up a larger discussion on who owns the local sound change.

Share

COinS
 
 

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.