Subcultural Language Identity

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Igoudin, A. L. (2011). Asian American girls who speak African American English: A subcultural language identity. In Du Bois, Inke, and Nicole Baumgarten (Eds.), Multilingual Identities: New Global Perspectives. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. This study explores the language attitudes and language use among three Asian American adolescent girls who integrate some elements of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) into their everyday speech. A group interview was conducted and the data gathered from the three girls was analysed in terms of its AAVE features and sociolinguistic variables in order to identify the relationship between the subjects' language code choice and their identity construction. Subjects expressed their fondness for AVVE…show more content…
In a discussion among young adult Korean Americans, she found out that one of them frequently integrated some African American English (AAE) elements into his standard American English speech. It is reported that his use of AAE has received supportive feedback from his interlocutors, which eventually helps in constructing a male identity for him that disputes the stereotyping of Korean American men as "passive, feminine and longing for whiteness". In both studies mentioned earlier, all of the subjects do not adopt their linguistic code to embrace of reject their own ethnic identity, but they are using the code to add new elements to their identities as members of young and urban community, rather than changing or rearranging the existing…show more content…
During adolescence, there is an increasing awareness of the importance of standard English variety among the teenagers but most of them do not choose to use them. It is claimed that the use of vernacular forms are high in childhood and adolescence and it steadily decreases as they are approaching middle age due to social pressure. The adolescents will learn that more standard speech form is necessary to be used in formal situation at this age, but for minority adolescence group such as these Asian American girls, their speech patterns are likely to be opposite. A greater use of AAVE features in speech among these adolescents may serve the function of distinguishing them from the older generations as well as demonstrating the sign of coolness, toughness and certain

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