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Tracey Weldon Breaks New Ground in Sociolinguistics

New Book on Race, Class, and Language from Cambridge UP

In her new book, Middle-Class African American English, UofSC professor of English and linguistics Tracey Weldon offers the first major study of African American English (AAE) as used and understood by middle-class speakers. Situating her subject in historical contexts to consider the past, present, and future of middle-class AAE, Weldon investigates phenomena like codeswitching and perceptions of “sounding Black” by combining scholarly methods in sociolinguistics with analysis of recordings of her own speech.  Learn more about this important new work from a recent interview with Weldon.

Praise for Weldon’s new book:

“Professor Weldon has produced a lucid, engaging study of middle-class African American English. Her rigorous methodology is unique, balancing self-reflection with cutting-edge statistical analyses that will be beneficial—and remarkably accessible—to experts and general readers alike.”

                                                                        — John Baugh, Washington University in St. Louis

“At last! An authoritative, thoroughly researched, and impressively written book on middle-class African American English! For more than half a century, our focus has been on working-class vernacular varieties, but middle-class varieties are vital too, for reasons that Tracey Weldon skillfully articulates, drawing on scholarship and personal experience.”         

                                                                        — John R. Rickford, Stanford University

Middle-Class African American English is published by Cambridge University Press. Readers can also access companion audio files directly from the book’s pages using QR technology.

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