Preserving a foundational study on African American Language


The Language & Life Project (LLP) and the Sociolinguistic Archive and Analysis Project (SLAAP), partnering with The MediaPreserve will reformat 728 at-risk, rare audio interviews created for a foundational study on social stratification in American English (1966-67), “The Detroit Dialect Study”. The interviews represent speakers from a variety of ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds, and the oral history style of the sociolinguistic interview covers content of interest to a wide array of researchers and the public such as politics, education, cultural norms and traditions. Further, a subset of the interviews are of critical importance to the study of African American Language, allowing researchers to gain a fuller understanding of its earlier development in urban contexts using modern methods of analysis. The digitized corpus will be incorporated into a larger collection via SLAAP, an audio archive that will enable access to and individual as well as collaborative analysis of the data.


Recordings at Risk

Amount Awarded


Year Added



North Carolina State University


  • Dr. Walt Wolfram (North Carolina State University)


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