Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title


Publication Date


Date Added



A study administered a 12-item questionnaire to 35 (15 males, 20 females) African-American students (recent high school graduates with a mean age of 17.5 years) enrolled in a university summer enrichment program to examine how their language in casual conversation differed from that of adults. The questionnaire was administered after the final exam on the last day of class, and "casual speech" was defined as that variety of speech used when students gathered to socialize. Results confirmed the hypothesis that the speech of adolescent African Americans differed significantly from that of adult African Americans. In addition, tables showing the chosen words used for various descriptive situations suggest that there were differences according to gender. Drawbacks to the study include the small number of stimuli items used on the survey and the absence of a comparison group or groups. Unmindful of these shortcomings, this preliminary analysis should contribute to the ongoing dialogue of language study in the African American community. (Contains three tables of data, eight notes, nine references, and a copy of the questionnaire.)



Included in

Linguistics Commons