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The Voice of the Voiceless: The use of African American Vernacular English and linguistic discourses in Tupac Shakur's Changes
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Tupac Amaru Shakur was a successful African American musician, poet, and actor most renowned for tackling controversial subject matters in his music as well as using it as a platform to highlight his political opinions and social activism. Tupac used African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in his music. AAVE is a form of English, with its own unique vocabulary, typically spoken in urban communities and historically rooted in the American South.

The aim of this study is to analyse how Tupac uses language to represent the voiceless America. This research essay focuses on answering two sub-questions. First, what topics/discourses does Tupac rap about in the song Changes and second, how is language used to represent these topic/discourses?

Changes, one of Tupac's most prominent song, is studied in a qualitative discourse analysis where AAVE (African American Vernacular English) is in the focus. Also, a minor study is presented in three different tables to compare AAVE words with Standard American (SAE).

The results of this study indicate that AAVE in Tupac's music is purposeful, plays a strong role in his persona, presentation, and can be linked to his political activism. In conclusion, through analyzing Changes, this essay illustrates several examples on how Tupac uses linguistic features to explore several themes and highlight the African American struggle in his society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 36
Keywords [en]
African American Vernacular English, discourse, representation, political activism, Tupac Shakur
Keywords [sv]
Engelska, diskurser, representation, politisk aktivism, språkbruk
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-14528Local ID: EON200OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-14528DiVA, id: diva2:1359385
Subject / course
English
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Available from: 2019-10-17 Created: 2019-10-09 Last updated: 2019-10-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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