While recent research has found regional variation within African-American English (AAE), little work has examined this variation on a broad scale: what are the regional dialects of AAE, and how do they compare with those of European-American English? This study examines two lexicosyntactic variables, put up/put away (put the groceries up/away) and test over/test on (test over/on chapter five). Applying machine learning techniques to Twitter data, I find that while put up is a Southern feature for white speakers, black speakers favor put up in the South and Midwest as compared to the West Coast and the Northeast. These results suggest a combined South/Midwest region of AAE, supporting recent findings of Taylor Jones. In contrast, for test over, black and white speakers pattern together in a previously undocumented region comprising parts of the South and Midwest.
“Put the Groceries Up”: Comparing Black and White Regional Variation
martha austen is a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics at the Ohio State University. She received her B.A. in linguistics and Spanish from Cornell University. Her current research focuses on the role of phonological structure in sociolinguistic perception, and the relationship between linguistic and sociolinguistic perception. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martha Austen; “Put the Groceries Up”: Comparing Black and White Regional Variation. American Speech 1 August 2017; 92 (3): 298–320. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-4312064
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