Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Douglas Davidson

Second Advisor

Dr. Sue Crull

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas Van Valey

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Lewis Walker

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This research was used to measure the attitudes of students toward African American English at a predominantly European American University. It was hypothesized that significant differences would be found between the responses of the African American and European American students. Using a random telephone survey of the population, three (Language Legitimacy, Language Acceptance, and Cultural Value) of the four hypotheses were found to be significant. The fourth hypothesis (Employment Inhibition) was rejected indicating that both groups felt language was used as an employment stratification device. The data showed that although there were significant differences in the attitudes by race over 80% of the students had a somewhat positive attitude toward African American English.