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Academic Paper

Title: Asian American Girls who Speak African American English: A Subcultural Language Identity
Paper URL:
Author: Lane Igoudin
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Los Angeles City College
Linguistic Field: Anthropological Linguistics; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: This study focuses on language attitudes and practices of three Asian American adolescent girls who incorporate elements of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) into everyday speech. Data obtained in group interviews are analyzed for AAVE features and sociolinguistic variables to examine the connection between the subjects' language code choice and identity construction. Subjects express affinity for AAVE despite awareness of its stigma and a varying ability to codeswitch between AAVE and Standard American English. The consciously orchestrated mismatch between these girls' visible ethnic and anticipated social identities allows them to break out of the boundaries of the ascribed identity and reap the benefits of hipness, popularity, and crosscultural socialization. In this process, code choice serves as a means to gain the subcultural capital and access the desired personal power and prestige among peers.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Presented at AILA 2008, Essen, Germany
Publication Info: Upcoming in 2009 in the series

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