Black English in a Mississippi Prison Population Nine linguistic features unique to Black English were examined in the speech of 87 Black and 77 White inmates of a Mississippi prison population. The purpose of the study was to determine whether Black inmates could be distinguished from White inmates by their use of the present progressive, final stops, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 01, 1990
Black English in a Mississippi Prison Population
 
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Article Information
Research Article   |   May 01, 1990
Black English in a Mississippi Prison Population
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, May 1990, Vol. 55, 206-216. doi:10.1044/jshd.5502.206
History: Received June 13, 1988 , Accepted June 19, 1989
 
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, May 1990, Vol. 55, 206-216. doi:10.1044/jshd.5502.206
History: Received June 13, 1988; Accepted June 19, 1989

Nine linguistic features unique to Black English were examined in the speech of 87 Black and 77 White inmates of a Mississippi prison population. The purpose of the study was to determine whether Black inmates could be distinguished from White inmates by their use of the present progressive, final stops, distributive be, remote aspect been, noun plurals, third person singular present tense, possessives, consonant clusters, and the copula. Results showed that use of eight of the nine features accurately predicted the ethnicity of the subjects. Only remote aspect been failed to identify ethnic differences. Identification of dialect variation among minority populations and more specifically among prison populations is an important step toward providing effective remediation programs.

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