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  • Cited by 15
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
January 2021
Print publication year:
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Book description

African American English (AAE) is a major area of research in linguistics, but until now, work has primarily been focused on AAE as it is spoken amongst the working classes. From its historical development to its contemporary context, this is the first full-length overview of the use and evaluation of AAE by middle class speakers, giving voice to this relatively neglected segment of the African American speech community. Weldon offers a unique first-person account of middle class AAE, and highlights distinguishing elements such as codeswitching, camouflaged feature usage, Standard AAE, and talking/sounding 'Black' vs. 'Proper'. Readers can hear authentic excerpts and audio prompts of the language described through a wide range of audio files, which can be accessed directly from the book's page using QR technology or through the book's online Resource Tab. Engaging and accessible, it will help students and researchers gain a broader understanding of both the African American speech community and the AAE continuum.


'Overall, the book is unique in that it showcases a broad overview and analysis of AAE usage and perceptions of the middle class that have been largely ignored in the wider literature.'

Alexus Brown Source: Language in Society

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