|aYou know my steez: An ethnographic and sociolinguistic study of styleshifting in a Black American speech community.
|aAdviser: John Baugh.
|aSource: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 64-11, Section: A, page: 4026.
|aThesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2004.
|aThe study focuses on a sociolinguistic analysis of African American Language (AAL). In particular, I examine the language of Black male and female Hip Hoppers in Sunnyside (the "Sunnysidaz") and how they styleshift based on both internal linguistic constraints and external social constraints, namely the identity characteristics of their interlocutors. Results show that the Sunnysidaz shift their speech style according to their interlocutor's race, gender, and Hip Hop cultural knowledge. Multiple levels of variation analysis reveal the details of individual variability within the group of Sunnysidaz in regards to their styleshifting abilities as measured by an analysis of the copula, 3rd person singular - s, possessive -s, and plural -s, as well as a qualitative analysis of invariant be (with the introduction of be3, the equative copula in AAL).
|aThis dissertation is an ethnographic and sociolinguistic study of styleshifting in a Black American speech community. In the study, I examine the language and linguistic practices of students at Haven High, an ethnically and linguistically diverse high school (multilingual and multilectal; 70% African American, 25% Latino, 5% Indian American and Pacific Islander), in the working-class suburb known as Sunnyside. The study is based on approximately two years of fieldwork as a teacher-researcher and an additional year and a half of insights were gained beyond the teaching experience, as I made weekly visits to the community and became a regular participant in Sunnyside's most (in)famous barbershop, "The Right Price." (My time in the field spans nearly four years of direct community engagement).
|aThis study hopes to contribute to the development of more refined methodological approaches to the study of styleshifting and to our growing theoretical conceptualization of speech style. I view speech style not as a monologic entity, but rather, as a dialogic, co-constructed and continually-developing project. This view has led to an approach to speech style that considers both sociolinguistic style (using quantitative variationist analysis to examine the frequency and distribution of several morphosyntactic variables) and interactional style (using qualitative discourse analytic techniques to examine rules of interaction, i.e., a community's implicit and systematic understanding of conversational rules and roles). I argue for an approach to the study of speech style that integrates sociolinguistic variation, interactional analysis, and ethnographic fieldwork in order to get us closer to understanding how and when speakers shift their styles. The central question for analysts still remains: How and when did these interlocutors, interacting in these ways, co-construct speech styles on these occasions?