2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Spoken Soul as a Performance: An Analysis of Crash
Christopher B. Stone
Dr. Mary Shapiro, Faculty Mentor

Spoken Soul (otherwise known under the labels Black English, African American English, Ebonics, Black English Vernacular, Black Vernacular English, African American English Vernacular, African American Vernacular English, Black Street Speech, and others) is perhaps one of the most controversial American dialects. From the Oakland controversy to newspaper editorials to popular culture, Spoken Soul is both widely misunderstood and stigmatized. This paper looks at the representation of Spoken Soul in Crash, the 2005 winner of the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture. It discusses not only how authentic the use of Spoken Soul is within the film, but also how the characters who use it relate to our interpretation of the use of Spoken Soul. It also discusses how different linguists describe the various grammatical features of Spoken Soul and the discrepancies among those descriptions.

Keywords: linguistics, Ebonics, film studies, African American English, Crash, Black English, American dialects, AAVE

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 49-1
Location: OP 2113
Time: 2:45

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