Tree bahk or 3.0 Bark: Linguistic identity and the sociophonetic variation of rhotics in Gullah Geechee

John McCullough

Abstract


The current study examines the speech of a Gullah Geechee personality who exhibits conscious shifts between sociolinguistic “styles” when speaking for an outsider audience. Her conscious use of this style shifting indexes specific identities, some for extracommunity consumption and some for demarcation of Gullah Geechee community membership. This ability to shift between lectal levels indicates a high degree of metadiscursive awareness, which is often not shared by the overt prestige status quo. This co-occurrence of style-shifting alongside both a creole continuum and cline of postvocalic r-lessness shows that singular features can co-index larger patterns of sociophonetic and discursive identity formation.


Keywords


sociolinguistics; sociophonetics; style-shifting; creole languages; Gullah Geechee

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v7i1.5275

Copyright (c) 2022 John McCullough

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Donate to the Open-Access Fund of the LSA

Linguistic Society of America


Advancing the Scientific Study of Language since 1924

ISSN (online): 2473-8689

This publication is made available for free to readers and with no charge to authors thanks in part to your continuing LSA membership and your donations to the open access fund.