This article presents an examination of identity construction in the narrative discourse of five African American residents of Washington, D.C., drawn from the CORAAL:DCB component of the Corpus of Regional African American Language. We explore how referring terms, place deixis, negation, evaluative language, and hedges are used to shape shifting, multifaceted identities constructed in terms of “connectedness” to versus disconnection from (1) D.C. African American identity, (2) neighborhood identities within D.C., (3) D.C. and its neighborhoods prior to and during processes of gentrification, and (4) fellow D.C. residents based on their stances toward gentrification and incoming gentrifiers. The analysis demonstrates that D.C. residents’ relationships toward gentrification involve more than a simple “us” versus “them” dichotomy, or linear sense of decreasing neighborhood connectedness, as residents position themselves in discourse as simultaneously connected to and distant from home neighborhoods and take up stances toward gentrification that are both negative and positive. Further, the analysis demonstrates the utility of CORAAL:DCB for sociolinguistic investigations across a full range of linguistic levels.

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