Project Title

Dialectal Differences in Literature

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - English

Faculty Sponsor Name

Jeanne Bohannon

Not Applicable as I will not be working with other people.

Abstract (300 words maximum)

As African Americans continue to have their home languages marginalized by societal forces, their linguistic input into how language grows remains important. Given this importance, I will conduct a textual analysis of African American English and its influence during the Great Depression with its influence on language and people in the 21st century to describe how authors use dialects to create characters. I will conduct this research by evaluating character dialogue in Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin and its accuracy historically. I expect to find that African American English is separate from Standard American English and that it was accurately portrayed in Wonderland Creek. While the events in the novel are fictional, the issues of class and race are similar to real events from the Great Depression which adds to the book’s historical accuracies that are still relevant today. Throughout history many writers have attempted to portray the past honestly, while others have skewed the past in biased directions. In Wonderland Creek, Alice says, “I wanted to stand up and shout that this was unfair, but loud voices were not permitted in the library.” With my research, I am taking the opportunity to stand up and shout about how separating people due to skin color or financial status is unfair.

Project Type

Poster

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Dialectal Differences in Literature

As African Americans continue to have their home languages marginalized by societal forces, their linguistic input into how language grows remains important. Given this importance, I will conduct a textual analysis of African American English and its influence during the Great Depression with its influence on language and people in the 21st century to describe how authors use dialects to create characters. I will conduct this research by evaluating character dialogue in Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin and its accuracy historically. I expect to find that African American English is separate from Standard American English and that it was accurately portrayed in Wonderland Creek. While the events in the novel are fictional, the issues of class and race are similar to real events from the Great Depression which adds to the book’s historical accuracies that are still relevant today. Throughout history many writers have attempted to portray the past honestly, while others have skewed the past in biased directions. In Wonderland Creek, Alice says, “I wanted to stand up and shout that this was unfair, but loud voices were not permitted in the library.” With my research, I am taking the opportunity to stand up and shout about how separating people due to skin color or financial status is unfair.