A study of the effect that the Negro dialect, mainly [f] for [th] substitution, has on white children attending a predominantly Negro school

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Shively, Larry E.
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Thesis (M.A.)
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Many studies of many varieties have been made on the Negro race and its adaption to the predominant white race. In some areas, no doubt, they have adapted, but in other areas this adaption has not taken place. The Negro community, more often than not, is a city within a city. Therefore, this adaption is slowed due to the lack of inter-mingling. Now, with the new "Black is Beautiful" drive, with its many implications, these changes may be retarded much longer.There is another side to this coin though and that is the direction that this study is aimed. What about the white minority who live in the predominantly Negro area? Do they pick up some of the traits that are usually attributed to the Negro race? The integration of the white adults with Negro adults is certainly not as great as it is within their own race, but the children seem to be less inhibited. This may be due to the fact that the white children have mostly Negro children for playmates, or perhaps color doesn't mean as much to them. Another place which puts this spattering of white children in close relationship with the Negro majority is the school. This study will find its sample in just such a school.One of these traits, reported by Wise (10, p299), that is common to the Negro race is the substitution of the [f] for the [0] in the postvocalic position. Wise also mentioned the Negro trait of substituting the [t] for the [0] in the pre-vocalic position. This researcher feels the latter substitution is much less common and that the results attained in this study will varify this point. Most African languages (10, p299) contain no [0] , and with the arrival of Negroes in this land, they substituted a familiar sound for the uncommon [0] , Mainly, the [t] in the pre-vocalic and the [f] in the post-vocalic position, which, being little opposed by education until recently, has persisted down through the generations. With the new "Afro-Black" pride this [f] for [0] substitution may be a part of the Negro language for some time to come.Other sounds are also inserted in place of the [0] to a much lesser degree, although a complete omission of the sound with no substitution ranks second to the [f] as the most common [0] replacement.The hypothesis for this study can now be stated: The small number of white children living in a predominantly Negro school area will use the Negro substitution pattern of [f] for [0] in the post vocalic position.