Discriminatory Linguistic Profiling

Linguists have long researched linguistic stereotypes. Lippi-Green (1997) presents self-sufficient proof of dialect or accent bias against speakers of varying ethnic accents, racial, and regional in the U.S. During the O. J. Simpson trial, public attention was drawn to racial identification based on speech. Mr. Cochran, Simpson’s African American counsel, vehemently denied that one could infer racial identification from words (California v Orenthal James Simpson, 1995). In the matter of Clifford v Kentucky (1999), the Kentucky Supreme Court used language profiling to condemn an appellant of African American origin who a white police officer overheard. So far, this matter has upheld the admissibility of ethnic profiling on the basis of the words of a lay attestor. The matter is obscure for apparent grounds in comparison to the Simpson trial’s worldwide exposure, yet the practice of linguistic profiling was no less severe.

Baugh (2005) became aware of linguistic profiling when he relocated to Palo Alto in pursuit of housing that could accommodate his whole household. Throughout all phone calls to prospective landlords, he presented his situation as a visiting professor at CASBS, consistently using his “professional voice,” which he is informed, “sounds white.” Although no potential property owner ever inquired about his ethnicity, he was unexpectedly denied access to housing four times when he arrived for his arranged interview. Although he suspected that these refusals were directly related to his ethnic background, which was proven via visible ethnic profiling, his typical English eloquence was (and still is) sufficient that linguistic profiling was avoided since he sounded white.

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Anita Henderson went to a major home unit to ask about flats while looking for an apartment in Philadelphia. She was shown to the costliest suite in the premises and informed that it was the only one accessible for the coming month and that no other flats would be obtainable. Nonetheless, the following day, when she was on the phone using her finest Standard American English and asking about flats in the same building, Henderson found out that numerous cheaper suites were suddenly accessible, and she was more than welcome to check them out (Henderson, 2001).


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