An undergraduate researcher at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has gained national acclaim for her research showing, she says, that members of minority groups feel oppressed by standard, grammatical English.
The researcher is Erika Gallagher, reports The Daily Cardinal, the student newspaper on the taxpayer-funded campus.
Gallagher’s research was chosen to be presented at the Collegiate Conference on Composition and Communication in Portland, Oregon earlier this semester.
The focus of the junior’s research is a theory called “code switching.” Basically, adherents of “code switching” say that individuals will seek to alter their speech patterns to fit the group of people with which they are communicating.
Members of minority groups feel especially marginalized because of “code switching,” Gallagher’s research found.
To avoid any hurt feelings some people may feel by attempting to speak standard, correct English, Gallagher wants to eradicate the stigma associated with Ebonics — or African–American Vernacular English, a nonstandard dialect of English spoken by some black people.