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INTRACOMMUNITY USAGE OF "NIGGA" IN SPOKEN AFRICAN AMERICAN LANGUAGE: A CORPUS STUDY

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Date Issued:
2021
Summary:
The aim of this thesis is to investigate how nigga is used between speakers of African American Language (AAL). Nigga has few detailed analyses that examine its intracommunity usage, especially regarding non-negative uses of the word. It is the center of much controversy within African American communities, particularly due to the generational divide on its racist potency, and horrific historical ties. Therefore, I ask whether in-group speakers use nigga in different contexts to convey meanings that are also neutral or positive in sentiment, and whether factors such as gender and age affect these sentiments. This thesis is a partial replication of Smith (2019), and I utilize spoken data from the Corpus of Regional African American Language in my quantitative analysis. I find that AAL speakers use nigga across all sentiments, and in a variety of syntactic environments. Additionally, men seem to say nigga more often than women in spoken conversation, and younger individuals are more likely to use the term over older individuals. Through this thesis, I shed light on the invisible linguistic boundaries that complicate AAL speakers' feelings on nigga. Cultural experiences and social pressures of being African American inform many speakers' opinions regarding nigga, and care should be taken to discuss these complexities.
Title: INTRACOMMUNITY USAGE OF "NIGGA" IN SPOKEN AFRICAN AMERICAN LANGUAGE: A CORPUS STUDY.
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Name(s): Davis, Alexis Ciara, author
Kharlamov, Viktor, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Department of Languages, Linguistics and Comparative Literature
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2021
Date Issued: 2021
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 76 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: The aim of this thesis is to investigate how nigga is used between speakers of African American Language (AAL). Nigga has few detailed analyses that examine its intracommunity usage, especially regarding non-negative uses of the word. It is the center of much controversy within African American communities, particularly due to the generational divide on its racist potency, and horrific historical ties. Therefore, I ask whether in-group speakers use nigga in different contexts to convey meanings that are also neutral or positive in sentiment, and whether factors such as gender and age affect these sentiments. This thesis is a partial replication of Smith (2019), and I utilize spoken data from the Corpus of Regional African American Language in my quantitative analysis. I find that AAL speakers use nigga across all sentiments, and in a variety of syntactic environments. Additionally, men seem to say nigga more often than women in spoken conversation, and younger individuals are more likely to use the term over older individuals. Through this thesis, I shed light on the invisible linguistic boundaries that complicate AAL speakers' feelings on nigga. Cultural experiences and social pressures of being African American inform many speakers' opinions regarding nigga, and care should be taken to discuss these complexities.
Identifier: FA00013688 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (MA)--Florida Atlantic University, 2021.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): African American
Vernacular language
Sociolinguistics
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00013688
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.