Sovoya Davis

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

English Language and Literature

First Advisor

Eric Acton

Second Advisor

T. Daniel Seely


This work explores America's love-hate relationship with African American English (AAE). As Linguist Geneva Smitherman points out, AAE is both stigmatized and superficially celebrated in the U.S. Focusing on White pop artist Meghan Trainor, I examine the role of AAE in her music and interviews and how her use of AAE relates to her image, the content of her songs, and how she is viewed. Even though some people benefit from its commodification, AAE and its native speakers continue to be discriminated against in most contexts. This work explores AAE's status in American society through Trainor's commodification of the language variety.

Included in

Linguistics Commons