sociolinguistics laboratory  

African and African American Varieties of English

Related publications

Related presentations

1. Samaná English

Sociolinguistic interviews with descendants of former African-American slaves and freedmen who settled in the Samaná Peninsula (Dominican Republic) in 1824. 21 native speakers of English, born between 1878 and 1933, are represented.

Audio recordings (22 hours), transcriptions, concordances.

2. African Nova Scotian English

North Preston

Settled by Black Loyalists in 1784 and refugee slaves in 1815, North Preston is the largest African Nova Scotian community, topographically and socially separated from nearby Dartmouth-Halifax. Informal interviews collected by in-group members with 41 members of their extended social networks, born between 1903 and 1971.


Guysborough, a cluster of settlements in northeastern Nova Scotia, was settled in 1783 by Black Loyalists. Informal interviews collected by group members with 38 members of their extended social networks, born between 1894 and 1938.

Audio recordings (159 hours), transcriptions, concordances.

3. Ex-Slave Recordings

Audio recordings made between 1935 and 1974 under the auspices of the U.S. Federal Works Progress Administration with former slaves born between 1844 and 1861.

Audio recordings (7 reel-to-reel tapes (copied from originals in the Archive of Folk Song in the Library of Congress [Washington, D.C.])), transcriptions, concordances.

4. Nigerian Pidgin English

Informal conversations among 13 members of a Nigerian social network in Ottawa recorded by a participant observer.

Audio recordings (20 hours), transcriptions, concordances.

5. Ottawa Repository of Early African American Correspondence

A collection of letters written between 1790 and 1865 by semi-literate free and recently freed African Americans. 41 letters from Sierra Leone, copied from originals in the National Archives of Canada (Ottawa) and the University of Illinois, Chicago; 496 letters written to the American Colonization Society from Liberia or the United States, copied from originals housed at the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.). Most have never been published, nor subjected to linguistic analysis. Transcriptions, concordances.

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